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Students from Honduras visit campus, learn about North American agriculture

Published: 10/22/2014 3:52PM
By: bradleyc


Students from the Universidad Nacional de Agricultura in Honduras visit Fort Valley State University’s College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology Oct. 20.

Visiting a foreign country, seeing new structures and practicing the English language brought excitement to 24 Honduran students touring Fort Valley State University.

The students traveled from the Universidad Nacional de Agricultura (UNA) in Catacamas-Olancho, Honduras as a part of a two week tour of agriculture colleges in the United States. One day of the two week tour is spent at FVSU. The annual trip is organized through an agreement between FVSU and the UNA. The students are juniors and seniors majoring in food science and food technology at UNA.

“I really want to be here,” said Stephanie Mata, a 24-year-old food science major who traveled with the group. After touring the Georgia Small Ruminant Research and Extension Center on campus, watching FVSU faculty make products such as ice cream and soap from goat milk, she said she was impressed with the technology and expertise in the College of Agriculture.

Mata and some of her peers who are juniors and seniors studying food science may soon have the chance to attend FVSU for free with the help of a grant received earlier this year.

Dr. Brou Kouakou, an FVSU associate professor of ruminant nutrition, received a capacity grant in the amount of $299,550 for a project entitled, “U.S. Honduras Partnerships to Strengthen Faculty and Students Global Agricultural Research Education and Cultural Experiences.”

For three years, these funds will aid FVSU’s College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology to pay for two Honduran undergraduate students to come to the U.S. and study. Funding will pay for lodging and food expenses while they conduct research at FVSU, satisfying their bachelor’s degree requirements.

Funding will also pay for eight FVSU undergraduate students and two faculty members from the College of Agriculture to travel to Honduras for a 28-day study abroad experience.

Karen Lara, project manager for UNA, who accompanied the group as an advisor said the students are more than excited to be here. “It’s something new and at least two from this group may come here for a master’s program,” Lara said. She also mentioned how seeing the modern equipment and the expertise in goat production was an experience because it is not available at the school in Honduras.

For more information about study abroad opportunities in the College of Agriculture, contact Kouakou at 478-827-3091 or kouakoub@fvsu.edu.