This article was published in the Fall 2015, Volume 34 edition of the Ag Review, a publication produced by the William H. Darr College of Agriculture at Missouri State University.
A 10-year Missouri State University partnership has gown into a great addition to the Darr School of Agriculture. Since the middle of September, 50 students and 10 faculty members from the Ningxia University in northwest China have been immersing themselves in life at Missouri State and School of Agriculture.
The students are here for a 10-month program focusing on viticulture, winemaking, grassland management, animal science and agronomy.
The program was designed so students of Ningxia University will fully understand Missouri’s agricultural industry so they can apply the skills and knowledge gained to grow China’s agricultural sector.
What began with 2 months of intensive English courses and tours of School of Agriculture facilities has transitioned to customized agricultural courses taught by faculty of the School of Agriculture. During the spring 2016 semester, Chinese students take 12 credit hours of transitional agricultural courses with Missouri State students
During this time, the 10 members will be observing courses and sharing what he agricultural industry entails in China. After their semester in the classroom, the students will partake in a statewide agricultural industry tour within their field of study.
Chunyan Zhang wants to improve the Chinese agricultural industry with the knowledge she is gaining from her time at Missouri State.
“Missouri is a wine region in American and I can come here and learn about whine technology and viticulture. I want to take difference knowledge and American thinking back to China,” Zhang said.
The partnership with the Ningxia Forestry Institute grew into a collaboration of research efforts in viticulture, enology and other areas of fruit science.
This led to a great network of resources for Missouri State and Ningxia University. After several short-term study away experience, sharing knowledge and visits from Chinese governmental officials, the School of Agriculture has been trusted to train the future work-forces of the Chinese agricultural industry in the Ninxgia region.
In a press release from Liu Hui, governor of Ningxia Hut Autonomous Region, the governor said, “Therefore I sincerely hope Dr. James P. Baker could cooperated with Ningxia University frankly and pragmatically, use the strong points of Missouri State University to offset the weak points of Ningxia University, and activity carry out the talent cooperation and training program, in order to establish a long-term mechanism for bilateral operations as well as keep a long-standing friendship.”
This region is nationally known for their winemaking and grasslands efforts to move Chinese agriculture forward.
The program has already been confirmed for next year and the future is bright. Plans include expanding available resources to the Chinese students to obtain master’s degrees at Missouri State and discussions have begun about allowing Missouri State students to complete a similar program in China.