The Iowa State University Extension Department has won a 300-thousand dollar federal grant to help develop a university-based extension service in the Mexican state of Colima. Dr. Nolan Hartwig, an I-S-U extension veterinarian, says the goal of the three-year project is to promote economic growth and improve the quality of life for rural people there through a broad-based outreach program. Dr. Hartwig says what’s lacking in Mexico and many other countries is the equivalent to the U.S. Extension Service. He says “The gap between what’s known and what gets applied is pretty horrendous throughout the world and we take our system for granted.” Hartwig says the core of the program will be bringing six Mexican graduate students to I-S-U each year for extensive study, to learn new techniques in areas including crops, livestock and farm-business practices.He says many of the grad students will already be in faculty roles at the University of Colima. Two per year will be brought to I-S-U in each of three areas: veterinary, diagnostic and production medicine, the College of Business to work on an M-B-A, and the Department of Agricultural Education. Hartwig says the project represents a great opportunity for building university cooperation with Mexico and for diversifying I-S-U’s programs. As the Mexican faculty members come to I-S-U, staff from Ames will also be going to Mexico for extended period. An I-S-U release says: “It is the start of an extension collaboration between I-S-U and Mexico that will improve our connections with Central America, and enhance our cultural sensitivity to reach out effectively to the growing Latino population in Iowa and the United States.” The grant for the effort comes from the U.S. Agency for International Development for its Training, Internships, Exchanges and Scholarships, or TIES program.
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