International Training Courses

Agricultural Biotechnology, Biosafety and Technology Transfer

This international short course shares the U.S. experiences in agricultural biotechnology use and management including science, policy, regulations, technology transfer, commercialization, product stewardship and communication aspects related to crops and food products derived through genetic engineering and genome-editing. This comprehensive course is organized in collaboration with MSU biotechnology faculty and representatives of the U.S. federal government agencies, non-profit organizations, biotechnology industry, and other international partners. The course includes classroom sessions, visits to biotechnology research laboratories, research field trials as well as visit to and interactions with local farmers in Michigan and Iowa. The participants also interact with industry representatives of three prominent seed biotechnology companies from Iowa, Missouri, and Idaho. In addition, the participants meet and interact with regulators from three U.S. federal government agencies involved in regulation of crops and products derived through biotechnology (USDA-APHIS, EPA, and FDA). This course is offered by MSU since 2002 and more than 500 international participants have attended this program. For more information, please contact Dr. Karim Maredia at: kmaredia@msu.edu.

Food Safety Course

Food Safety is a global issue affecting public health, food security, and international trade. This short course provides education in food safety policy development, risk analysis and program implementation to ensure a safe food supply for the global community. This course covers biological, chemical, physical, and biotechnological food hazards. The course includes food safety policy, U.S. and international food laws and regulations, risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication as well as international best practices to ensure safer food supply. In addition, the course includes guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for food safety testing for pre- and post-commercialization within the context of international treaties and agreements (CODEX). Special sessions are included on HACCP principles and practice, and food safety issues associated with foods derived through genetic engineering and genome editing. The course is organized in collaboration with state and federal government agencies, private companies, and non-profit organizations. The course provides opportunities for participants to visit and interact with food safety specialists at private food companies in Michigan. The knowledge, information and experience gained through this course will help participants contribute towards the development of a safer food supply, well-founded public policy and a greater understanding of food safety issues. This annual course has been offered since 1999 and provided training to more than 700 international participants. For more information, please contact Dr. Ramjee Ghimire at: ghimirer@msu.edu.

Zoonotic Diseases Course

In the wake of COVIDd-19 pandemic, zoonotic diseases are gaining global attention. The majority of infectious diseases affecting humans are of animal origin. This international short course provides a deeper understanding of bacterial, viral, parasitic, and fungal zoonotic diseases along with detailed information on predicting and predicting future pandemic zoonoses. The course covers principles and practices of One Health program, and roles of international organizations (e.g., WHO, OIE, FAO) in prevention and management of zoonotic diseases. Animal health and international trade, and zoonotic diseases of wildlife origin are the other highlights of the course. This course is jointly organized by MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, College of Veterinary Medicine, and College of Osteopathic Medicine. The resource faculty for the course come from MSU and other international organizations including WHO, OIE, and ILRI. For more information contact Dr. Ramjee Ghimire at: ghimirer@msu.edu.

Agriculture Extension Course

With the growing global population, shrinking agricultural land base and emerging threats of climate change, agricultural transformation is a high priority globally. Along with research and education, extension/outreach remains a key pillar for global agricultural development and food systems. Despite efforts to strengthen agricultural research, extension and outreach systems in most developing countries remain weak, underfunded, and disconnected from research and education systems. Useful technologies, innovative practices in farming and marketing, and reliable information sources are not efficiently reaching farmers and end users to create the desired impacts on farmers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs. The roles for agricultural extension and advisory services and other government-supported services should be redefined to create a stronger and more efficient system of support for producers. Agricultural extension is dominantly supply-driven rather than demand-driven. Producers are expecting evidence-based knowledge, skills and solutions to produce and market quality agricultural products. The MSU Extension team in collaboration with MSU-CANR International Programs has designed and been offering one weeklong short course in “Innovations in Agricultural Extension” to share models and best practices in the planning, design, implementation, management, and evaluation of agricultural extension programs. This course is offered annually and open to extension professionals from all over the world. For more information, please contact Sunil Madan madansun@msu.edu and Anne Baker amb@msu.edu.

Plant Breeding 2 Fight Hunger: An Online Certificate Course 

This online international Plant Breeding and Biotechnology is a 14-week certificate course. The course focuses on conventional and modern plant breeding methods, tools, and technologies for crop improvement. The course modules will include various aspects of plant breeding as well as biotechnology tools including molecular markers, genomics, genetic engineering, and genome editing. In addition, the course covers the regulatory approvals needed for testing and commercialization of biotechnology derived crops. For more information, please contact Dr. Cholani Weebadde at: weebadde@msu.edu.

Food Processing, Packaging, and Value-Addition Course

The international short course in Food Processing, Packaging, and Value-Addition provides an in-depth introduction to value-added food processing and packaging technologies. The course participants visit state of the art research and development facilities in food science, packaging, and bio-systems and agricultural engineering at Michigan State University, with additional field visits to selected food processing industries in Michigan. The knowledge, information, and experience gained through this course will help participants contribute toward the planning and development of value-added food processing/packaging ventures to enhance food supply and marketability for maximizing revenues of the farmers and processors in their respective countries. For more information, please contact Dr. Karim Maredia at: kmaredia@msu.edu.

Science & Technology Communication Course 

The international short course in Science and Technology Communication provides participants the opportunity to gain skills in science communication using various tools and approaches. The course provides hands-on experience in communicating science using case studies and forms a platform for local and international participants to exchange their experiences. The topics covered are basic communication theories and principles, ethics, risk communication, media, and journalism, ICT and social media, media framing, and designing effective communication messages. The knowledge and experience gained through this course will help participants contribute towards creating a better understanding of scientific innovations within the general public and various stakeholders who serve the public. For more information, please contact Dr. Karim Maredia at: kmaredia@msu.edu.

Biofuels and Bioenergy Course

The international short course on biofuels shares Michigan State University’s research and experience on production and use of biofuels with the world and encourages collaborative research and exchange of ideas and resources on the same. The course covers policy issues, current research, production, social and economic aspects, and environmental issues of biofuels. Participants visit an ethanol plant and a biodiesel plant. Participants will get opportunities to visit MSU’s current research and interact with the MSU researchers at various labs on campus, Michigan Biotechnology Institute, and Kellogg Biological Station. The biofuels course serves as a platform for building a global network of biofuels professionals. This course is targeted for industry professionals, researchers, scientists, policy makers, government officials, academicians, and administrators. This course could serve as an avenue to continue other educational programs in the area of biofuels and bioenergy at MSU. For more information, please contact Dr. Karim Maredia at: kmaredia@msu.edu.

Agroecology, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Sustainable Agriculture Course

This international course covers principles and practices of Agroecology, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and Sustainable Agriculture. Emphasis of this course is on ecological and non-chemical approaches to pest management including cultural, mechanical, biological, biotechnological, behavioral, and other environmentally friendly approaches. The course participants learn how research, education and outreach are integrated in the design and implementation of IPM programs to reduce the use of toxic chemical pesticides. The course is offered in collaboration with the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program and Long-term Agricultural Research at MSU’s Kellogg Biological Station, and with the MSU’s statewide IPM Program. This course is offered at MSU since 1995. More than 300 international participants have attended this course. For more information, please contact Dr. Karim Maredia at: kmaredia@msu.edu.

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Technology Transfer Course

This international course provides education on various aspects of intellectual property rights (IPR) and technology transfer including patents, plant variety protection, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and other forms of IP protection. The program covers the U.S. and international patent laws and IP policies. The emphasis is on the day-to-day handling and management of intellectual properties in various settings within the context of international agreements (WTO, CBD) and other international and regional treaties related to technology transfer and trade. The course includes hand-on exercises on technology licensing and license negotiations. This course is offered in collaboration with MSU Innovation Center/MSU Technologies (MSU-T Office), Michigan Crop Improvement Association (MCIA) and Michigan Biotechnology Institute (MBI). This course is offered at MSU since 1996. More than 400 international participants have attended this course. For more information, please contact Dr. Karim Maredia at: kmaredia@msu.edu.

Environmental Biosafety Course

Biosafety refers to the safe use and deployment of technologies along the agricultural and food value chains. Interest and scope of biosafety is increasing globally. This international short course covers environmental biosafety aspects associated with the use and management of emerging technologies including biotechnology products developed through genetic engineering and genome-editing. The course focuses on the biosafety policy development and implementation, risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication. The course highlights the U.S. and international biosafety policies, regulation, guidelines, and standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the context of laboratory and greenhouse testing, confined field trials (CFTs), and general release of biotechnology derived crops and products. This course is offered in collaboration with various MSU Departments, MSU Biosafety Office, State and U.S. federal government agencies including MDARD, USDA-APHIS, and EPA. This course is offered since 2005. More than 250 participants have attended this course. For more information, please contact Dr. Karim Maredia at: kmaredia@msu.edu.

Animal Agriculture and Dairy Value Chain Course

Demand for animal source foods such as milk is in the rise globally. This is an opportunity for smallholder farmers in the developing countries to benefit from dairy farming. Dairy farming is full of challenges too, such as efficiently managing dairy animal health, breeding, nutrition, marketing, and ensuring safe production and use of dairy products. A multidisciplinary MSU expert team organizes a week-long course focusing on the best practices for livestock production with a focus on dairy. This course provides an opportunity for participants to observe and learn the latest technological advances and best practices in dairy cattle management, nutrition, genetics, reproduction, and breeding, herd health management, consumers and industry linkages, and environmental issues related to dairy production systems. Offered in collaboration with private and public (state and federal government) agencies, participants get ample opportunities to visit private sector and university run dairy farms, dairy processing industries, and interact with dairy farmers and experts. For more information contact Dr. Ramjee Ghimire at: ghimirer@msu.edu.

Water Management Course

Water is an important resource and critical input in agriculture. The international short course on water management is designed to gain participants a better understanding of global water resources towards achieving sustainable water use while maintaining critical ecosystem services. The course focuses on principles of hydrology, integrated water resources management (IWRM), and environmental sustainability. The course provides meaningful exposure to appropriate technologies as well as interactive discussions on social, cultural, equity issues in water resources management. This course is offered on special request. For more information, please contact Dr. Karim Maredia at: kmaredia@msu.edu,