MSU hosts faculty from North Carolina A&T in effort to foster collaboration and showcase research, outreach endeavors
Visit part of ongoing partnership to enhance cooperation between the two land-grant institutions
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Faculty from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University visited Michigan State University on April 27 to tour campus and learn about the variety of ways MSU AgBioResearch and MSU Extension are impacting Michigan communities.
The visit featured conversations with MSU Extension leaders, faculty, researchers and graduate students to provide a well-rounded picture of MSU’s robust agriculture and natural resources programming.
“MSU, as one of the founding land-grant universities, and North Carolina A&T, as the largest 1890 historically black land-grant college, both have a strong history and tradition of outstanding research, academic and Extension programs in the areas of agriculture and natural resources,” said Antoine Alston, Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at North Carolina A&T. “Any time we can get together to address problems in our communities and our states and come up with some innovative solutions to issues we are dealing with is really beneficial to everyone involved.”
The exchange is part of continuing efforts to build collaboration and cooperation between the two land-grant institutions. Representatives from MSU visited the North Carolina A&T campus in Greensboro, N.C., last year.
"We hope this visit, our collective conversations, and the information presented during this symposium will establish the foundation of a more comprehensive and integrated relationship between MSU and North Carolina A&T,” said Dana Infante, Associate Director of MSU AgBioResearch.
North Carolina A&T faculty on the visit were:
- Antoine Alston, Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Studies
- Arnab Bhowmik, Assistant Professor in Soil Science
- Derrick Coble, Assistant Professor of Animal Science
- Chantel Y. Simpson, Assistant Professor, Agriscience Education
- Shannon Wiley, Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist/Interim Regional Administrator, 4-H Youth Development
- Leonard Williams, Professor of Food Science and Director - Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies
“The main purpose of this visit and this collaboration is to foster genuine, authentic relationships between our two universities,” said MSU Extension Director Quentin Tyler. “MSU Extension and MSU AgBioResearch strive to be leaders in the development of relationships across state lines that allow us to impact work on a local, national and global scale.”
MSU Extension will host four interns from North Carolina A&T this summer as part of a developing intern-exchange program between the two universities.
One particular highlight of the trip was a research and outreach symposium that featured faculty from both universities presenting impacts of their work. More than a dozen presenters from MSU and North Carolina A&T showcased advancements in agricultural education, research and outreach, and relating that information to diverse and specific communities.
The campus tour included stops at MSU’s Plant Science Greenhouses, Mobile Food Processing Lab, South Campus Animal Farms, and Food Processing Innovation Center.
“When you come to a place like MSU and see such an expansive, comprehensive campus, with all crops and animal production disciplines right here, you really get to see the marriage of agronomy, agriculture, and engineering at one institution,” said Derrick Coble, assistant professor of Animal Sciences at North Carolina A&T. “But what stood out to me at MSU, is the marriage between Extension and research, and how that partnership works to serve the community and also train professionals in your counties and students on your campus.”
Coble, a swine geneticist studying nutrient utilization and heat stress effects, said he plans to reach out to MSU faculty who are conducting research that overlaps with his in hopes of a potential collaboration.
Alston said building connections between faculty and working together to build more collaborative and collective responses to agriculture and natural resource needs is the ultimate goal of the partnership.
“The problems facing our global society can’t be solved in a silo,” Alston said. “We have to reach across borders, across disciplines, to build interdisciplinary, multi-institutional collaborations to solve big issues.”