FRESNO, Calif. — Fresno State and the University of São Paulo have agreed to an official memorandum of agreement to broaden their cooperative agriculture student, faculty and staff exchange programs.
Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro and Dr. Sandra Witte, dean of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at Fresno State, signed the agreement on campus March 1 with three University of São Paulo leaders: Dr. Raul Machado Neto, provost for international affairs; Dr. Luiz Gustavo Nussio, agriculture dean, and Dr. Durval Dourado Neto, agriculture vice dean.
The University of São Paulo, located in the city of Piracicaba, 100 miles northwest of São Paulo, was ranked fifth internationally among global agricultural science universities in a U.S. News and World Report ranking and has 80 academic exchange agreements with universities in more than 25 countries.
Its 3,500-student agriculture college is the largest in Latin America and offers classes in six undergraduate and 16 postgraduate agriculture programs in economics, administration, animal, bioengineering, crop, entomology, food, forestry, plant and soil sciences.
The new agreement will strengthen a relationship that has already included five-month practical research visits by 24 University of São Paulo plant science and animal science students since 2009 to assist in Fresno State research, attend workshops, conferences and field trips and audit classes.
Current Fresno State master’s student Giuliano Galdi, a University of São Paulo graduate, and Lucas Ingold, a University of São Paulo senior and Fresno State exchange student this spring, welcomed the Brazilian academic leaders on their campus tour.
The Jordan College has also hosted visits by University of São Paulo student groups six of the past 10 years as part of a California ag industry tour in conjunction with the World Ag Expo in Tulare.
On their campus visit earlier this month, the representatives toured the 1,000-acre Fresno State campus farm, the Bee Sweet Citrus Fresh Fruit Packing Line and Laboratory and the Jordan Agricultural Research Center. The trip also included meetings with Fresno State students and faculty from the food science and nutrition, industrial technology, meat science, plant science and viticulture and enology departments.
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