The Colorado State University and United States Department of Agriculture Faculty Exchange Program (FEP) was completed on December 4th, last week. “We say good bye to our six visiting professors from the Ukraine” said Prof. Emeritus Bill Spencer. They are the 19th FEP team to complete this program in the College of Agricultural Sciences hosted by the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics and the College of Business.
A previous news-release based on their activities at CSU and around Colorado is presented below:
For well over a decade, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has brought mid-career scholars to Colorado State University from international universities to increase their knowledge and ability to teach agricultural economics, marketing, agribusiness and finance in a market economy.
This year is no exception as the USDA and CSU host six more teachers from Ukraine agricultural universities to participate in the Faculty Exchange Program (FEP) within the College of Agriculture’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, according to Professor Emeritus Bill Spencer who has coordinated this activity for the department during its nearly 15-year CSU history. In fact, one former FEP participant has become the first woman Rector of a Ukraine Agricultural University, Spencer notes.
The 2015 FEP participants who are here for the Fall Semester include (left to right): Roman Savchenko, Zhytomyr National Agroecological University; Nataliia Maslak, Sumy State Agrarian University; Oleksandr Chaikin, Zhytomyr National Agroecological University; Eleonora Kirieieva, Vinnytsia National Agrarian University; Alexandr Fedorchuk, Kherson State Agrarian University, and Olga Varchenko, Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University.
Prior to the FEP team arrival at CSU, USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service staff in Washington D.C. provided an overview of United States agricultural development from a Federal perspective.
The FEP scholars noted that their visit the USA in general and CSU particular will help them identify ways of developing the Ukraine’s agriculture under conditions of globalization by helping create stable, transparent and equitable conditions for all agri-industrial sector activities. These FEP objectives are reinforced by exposure to the Land Grant University system which integrates teaching, research and outreach / extension activities.
The current FEP members had their first view of this Land Grant integration during a Western Colorado Field Trip soon after their arrival in August. The tour, hosted by CSU Professor Emeritus Dan Hilleman and retired CSU scientist Dr. Curtis Swift provided direct field contact with Colorado agriculturalists including farmers, ranchers, researchers and economic development specialists. Such field contact provides a solid experiential base before attending classes in the Colleges of Agriculture and Business, according to Prof. Spencer. Sites visited included value-added enterprises, water users associations, financial and banking businesses, commercial fruit and vegetable growers, CSU Research Experiment Stations and Extension Offices and Colorado Mesa University.
In addition to the Western Colorado experience, CSU Professor Emeritus Richard Tinsley has conducted a series of East Slope field visits to explore the variety of social and economic factors which impact agriculture in the state. And, regional agricultural issues were further pursued by the FEP group during a Western Region Tour of Arizona, California and Nevada with emphasis on United States agribusiness systems, the food processing industry, commercial agriculture, water issues and domestic and international trade. That two week activity concluded at the end of October.
These field experiences were integrated with FEP scholar attendance in CSU Fall Semester classes to pursue internship goals of learning more about improving teaching methods, adapting their facilities to international requirements and optimizing the existing curriculum of economic specialty based on experience gained in the U.S. They also will prepare seminar materials for colleagues comparing and contrasting the U.S. and Ukrainian agricultural education systems.
The FEP experience will contribute to strengthen methodological principles for the development of the agrarian policy of Ukraine and forms, methods and lines for the state regulation of the agriculture. There is also need to discuss trends and forecasts of the development of the higher education in the 21st century under circumstances of the democratization and humanization.
These academic concerns include the international practice of the competence-based training of specialists, the standardization of the bachelor and master curricula, the implementation of innovative technologies and students’ knowledge assessment systems. The Ukraine scholars also point out the need to pay attention to adapting educational approaches to international requirements, and also to adjust the existing economic curricula based on experience gained in the USA.
The USDA program also provides for select CSU faculty who have worked with the Ukraine participants the opportunity for a reciprocal visit to the represented Ukraine universities for follow-up and additional liaison to help implement objectives initiated by the FEP scholars through the CSU experience.
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For additional information contact Prof. Emeritus Bill Spencer
William P. Spencer
Colorado State University
Agricultural and Resource Economics
B320 Clark Building
Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1172
(970) 498-9027 (Work)
(970) 988-0720 (Cell)