Ukraine/Central & Eastern Europe

Experience and expertise in Central and Eastern European countries at Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Image courtesy of The World Factbook 2009. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2009.

Image courtesy of The World Factbook 2009. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2009.

For further information, contact Deanna Behring, director of international programs.

Note:  For information regarding the Woskob New Century Fund or the Woskob International Research in Agriculture (WIRA) Faculty Development Program, please click on the program names.


The college had a number of activities in Armenia. In support of USDA programs such as the Marketing Assistance Program, the college regularly sent our faculty members as experts. David Slusser, former general manager of PaDHIA spent four years working in Armenia to assist in the development of milk marketing cooperatives. He worked on issues of financial management, as well as milk quality.

4-H Model of Youth Development in Armenia

In July 2002, Michael Martin, special assistant to the vice president for outreach and cooperative extension, served as a Youth Program Consultant to ACDI/VOCA. In his volunteer role, Martin developed and facilitated a five-day workshop introducing the 4-H model of youth development to Heifer International staff and volunteers from Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. The purpose of the workshop was to introduce the American model of 4-H and train adult volunteers of Heifer International in youth development methodology.

Baltic Countries

The college has letters of intent with extension services in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia back dating back in 1997. Since that time, a number of extension professionals and administrators from Baltic countries visited Penn State through the exchange programs and Penn State faculty attended extension conferences in Lithuania and Latvia.


The college has an MOU with the University of Veterinary Science in Hungary dating back to 1995.


The College of Agricultural Sciences started to explore new collaboration with agricultural universities from Kazakhstan. Dr. Anatoliy Tmanov visited Kazakh State Agro Technical University in Astana in December 2005 and March 2006. As a result of the visit, Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and Kazakh State Agro Technical University submitted a proposal for a partnership to the USAID.

Mr. John Rodgers, a private dairy farmer from Belleville, Pa., has been working as a Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer for last thirteen years in Kazakhstan. He initiated the "Agricultural Progress Days in Kazakhstan," an agricultural fair for Kazakhstan dairy farmers. Sanra Costello and Paul Craig, extension educators, visited Kazakhstan and assisted in delivering outreach services at the fairs.

Recently, Mr. Rodgers established the John Reed Rodgers International Support Endowment for the College of Agricultural Sciences to support faculty and student activities with Kazakhstan.


Ken Bailey (Ag Economics and Rura Sociology) recently visited Macedonia on VOCA assignment where he worked closely with Macedonian government officials to develop strategic plan for their dairy processing industry. As a result of one-week of intensive work, Dr. Bailey developed the "Restructuring Plan for Agroprodukt," in which he provided consulting on restructuring needs for a dairy processing enterprise.


A growing number of college faculty, extension personnel, and staff have had experience in Moldova. Ken Bailey (Ag Economics and Rural Sociology), John Berry (Ag Marketing Education in Lehigh County), Glenn Cauffman (Farm Operations), Andy Martin (Penn State Cooperative Extension in Mifflin County), and Larry Hutchinson (Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences), have all volunteered on projects in Moldova via the Citizens Network of Foreign Affairs. Dr. Ed Rajotte (Entomology) is working with a partner in Moldova with funding from the Civilian Research and Development Foundation. Watch for more news about Moldova in the future.


Connie Flanagan (Ag and Extension Education) conducted a seven-nation study of more than 5,000 twelve- to nineteen-year-olds, "Social change and political development in adolescence: A cross-cultural comparative study." The four Central and Eastern European countries in transition are Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Russia. The other three nations are Australia, Sweden, and the United States. The study looks at the factors in families, schools, and communities that promote civic values in young people. This study was funded by the W. T. Grant and Jacobs Foundations.

Since 1996, Penn State has conducted six annual extension workshops in Central and Eastern Europe. The first four were held at the extension center in Boguchwala in southeastern Poland. The 2000 conference was held in Kiev, Ukraine, and the 2001 sessions were held in Voronezh, Russia. In 2002, the sessions returned to Poland, in 2003 to Ukraine, and in 2004 in Serbia. The four-day workshops are for FEP graduates, university administrators, private farmers, and agribusiness personnel from Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and the Baltic States. The conferences are conducted through the generosity of private Pennsylvania donors. In fall 2001, private funding purchased a no-till grain planter for the extension center in Boguchwala. It is the first one in southeastern Poland and is being used for demonstrations and research projects designed to improve the productivity of Polish agriculture.


In 2004, Penn State received a grant from USDA-CSREES to evaluate the impact of USDA's early investment in building extension in Poland.

Jacklyn Bruce (Ag and Extension Education) visited Poland to evaluate the outcomes of the Polish American Extension Program. The project team visited Warsaw and selected provinces in Poland to survey and interview Ministry of Agriculture officials, extension personnel, community leaders, and clientele to determine the lasting impact of the CSREES's intervention. Other evaluation activities aimed at seeking impacts attributable to the project, including economic analysis, a review of educational materials currently in use, and interviews to measure professional growth of extension staff, clientele satisfaction, and changes in knowledge delivery.

In 1990, Penn State worked with the U.S. government and private supporters to respond to requests from Poland's leaders to help build an extension service based on the U.S. model. Since then, the College of Agricultural Sciences has sent research and extension specialists to Poland on assignments, and extension volunteers, 4-H youth, and others have traveled to Poland. The 4-H program was given a boost in 2001 through the efforts of Penn State and a private organization, Copernicus Society of America, which is providing a five-year grant of $50,000 to fund Crystal Clover awards to outstanding Polish 4-H leaders. For more information on the Polish-American Extension Project, click PAEP .

The College of Agricultural Sciences signed a letter of intent with the Ropczyce Higher School for Agricultural Engineering (Rzeszow, Poland). Dean Robert Steele met with Rector Stanislaw Sosnowski and discussed future opportunities for both educational institutions.

Russian Federation

The College of Agricultural Sciences signed a memoranda of understanding with the following Russian agricultural universities:

  • Moscow State Agro Engineering University
  • Voronezh State Agricultural University
  • Saratov State Agricultural University


The College of Agricultural Sciences signed two letters of intent with the agricultural departments of the University of Belgrade and the University of Kragujevac in April 2002. Both sides expressed intentions to develop joint programs in academic, research, and outreach areas. Our college is looking to expand its international programming with the Balkan countries. USDA has awarded Penn State a grant to work with in Serbia to assist in building cooperative extension. Drs. Lou Moore and Jim Dunn (Ag Economics and Rural Sociology) are working with the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture and the USDA to assist in the development of extension services in Serbia.


The College of Agricultural Sciences has had a long-standing relationship with partners in Ukraine, thanks in large part to the generosity of real estate developers Helen and Alex Woskob of State College. The relationship dates back to 1992 when the Woskobs established the Ukrainian Agricultural Exchange Program, enabling collaboration between the College of Agricultural Sciences and the Ukrainian Agricultural Academy. More recently, the Woskobs endowed the Woskob Family Chair in International Agriculture with a gift of $1.5 million to Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. The distinguished faculty member to be appointed to the Woskob chair will focus on creating partnerships in the Republic of Ukraine for student and faculty exchanges and for collaborative research on improving the production and marketing of agricultural commodities.  For information regarding the Woskob New Century Fund or the Woskob International Research in Agriculture (WIRA) Faculty Development Program, please click on the program names.

Kathleen Kelley (Horticulture) served as an agribusiness management volunteer consultant for the Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs in Ukraine. Past projects have included helping vegetable producers and members of cooperatives with identifying potential markets for fresh vegetables and value-added products, such as frozen, processed, and packaged fruits and vegetables. Other efforts have included administering business management and financial management training programs to agribusiness dealers and their employees.

Mike Jacobson (School of Forest Resources) is involved in a project that is developing forest relationship between Penn State and the Ukraine. His involvement is in forest economics (taxes, finances, and policy). This cooperation also involves Wayne Myers (School of Forest Resources), who is working with GIS (landscape ecology), and Marc McDill (School of Forest Resources), who is involved in modeling (timber production).

USDA Faculty Exchange Program

Since 1997, Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has participated in the USDA Faculty Exchange Program. Don Evans, Lou Moore and James Dunn provided leadership for this program in the departments of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology and Agricultural and Extension Education. To date, the college has hosted 55 young faculty members for a semester. These faculty have come from agricultural universities and academies in Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Serbia, and Armenia. Twenty-five have come from ten institutions in Ukraine. We have over the years requested that USDA send us as many Ukrainians as possible in anticipation of our expanding educational programs in Ukraine.

These strategically placed faculty and their institutions have been helpful in carrying out our programs. These scholars help advance the market economy in their countries by improving educational programs in farm management, marketing, farm policy, agribusiness, and agrarian law. An annual conference held at a strategic location in one of these countries brings together former participants, university administrators, farmers, and local and national government representatives. These programs enhance and extend understanding and collaborations.

USDA Cochran Fellowship Program

Since 1997, Penn State has directed fifteen Cochran groups. The Cochran program, under USDA with state department funding, brings agriculture and agribusiness representatives from the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union to the United States for short-term training (one to three weeks). To date, more than 100 Cochran scholars have been hosted in Pennsylvania, working with Pennsylvania farmers, agribusiness, and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Video Highlights of recent Cochran Programs hosted at Penn State:
Cochran Fellowship Program in Dairy Herd Management, May 2014
Cochran Fellowship Program in Dairy Herd Management, September 2013

Past Completed Programs

National Security Education Program

Through domestic and international experiences in Russia and Ukraine, the National Security Education Program (NSEP) prepared participating students in anticipating and responding to trade and other disputes related to agriculture and food security. Contact Anatoliy Tmanov for more information.

NIS College University Partnership Program (NISCUPP)

The College of Agricultural Sciences administered a partnership program with Lviv State Agricultural University in Ukraine to develop institutional capacity at Lviv Agricultural University through faculty development, curriculum revision, and new technology implementation. Contact Anatoliy Tmanov for more information.