Dr. Mark Erbaugh, Director of International Programs in Agriculture, and Dr. Luis Cañas, Associate Professor in the Department of Entomology, traveled to the Pan-American School of Agriculture – popularly referred to as Zamorano University - in Honduras from December 6 – 12, 2018, to reaffirm and strengthen existing linkages on behalf of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).
Zamorano is a premier agricultural university in Central America founded in 1942 that trains students throughout Latin America in four major curricular areas: agribusiness management, food science and technology, environment and development, and agricultural sciences and production.
“Zamorano’s exceptional institutional infrastructure, faculty, and academic programs provide an excellent partnership platform on which to build future collaborations for the benefit of CFAES faculty, researchers, and students”, said Dr. Erbaugh.
Building On Current Collaborations
There are a number of ongoing collaborative efforts between Ohio State – CFAES and Zamorano faculty and staff, and this visit intended to further synergize these efforts for more amplified impact in areas like food securuty and youth development.
Dr. Cañas, who completed his undergraduate degree at Zamorano, has been selecting and placing Zamorano undergraduate students on research internships at the CFAES Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) for the last 10 years as part of the Ohio State/Zamorano internship program. Several past internships have resulted in Zamorano students returning to CFAES for graduate degree training. A few of these students now hold faculty and industry positions in the US and abroad. Cañas also collaborates with several Zamorano faculty, including a research program with Ing. Rogelio Trabanino, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Zamorano’s Biological Control Laboratory, that focuses on developing biological control practices for horticultural and agronomic pests.
Ohio State University Extension has also initiated collaborations with Zamorano to establish and develop 4-H, known in Honduras as ‘4-S’, clubs and a possible Honduran Youth Institute, which would be an adaptation of the Ohio Youth Institute. Dustin Homan and Sally McClaskey, both Ohio 4-H Program Managers, met with Zamorano staff, volunteers and local teachers earlier this year during an April visit to Zamorano’s campus. Steve Brady, 4-H Extension Educator in Warren County, visited Zamorano University in October where he led a two-day training workshop for teachers and adult volunteers interested in establishing 4-S clubs in their communities.
The Ohio Agricultural Internship Program, an affiliated program to International Programs in Agriculture, has been recruiting Zamorano students for internship placements with agribusinesses such as SolGroup Marketing, Corteva, Moreno Ranch, and the Latin America Agrobusiness Development Corporation for more than ten years.
Howard Greene, Program Director for K-12 Education Outreach in the College of Engineering, has been leading service-learning projects in Honduras for students from the College of Engineering and CFAES for several years. Howard has started planning a new collaboration between Zamorano, Ohio State, and Heart to Honduras (HtH) – a faith-based NGO headquartered in Xenia, Ohio - to have Ohio State-Zamorano student teams complete service learning projects in rural villages identified by HtH.
Cañas and Erbaugh’s visit also included a meeting with Dr. Jeffery Lansdale, President of Zamorano, and several faculty members who plan to visit The Ohio State University in February 2019 to continue discussions on collaborative programming with CFAES. CFAES and Zamorano University also plan to renew next year a memorandum of understanding that was signed by both institutions in 2014.
They concluded their trip by meeting with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission staff in Tegucigalpa to learn of its current development priorities and programs in Honduras.