Cornell University’s globally engaged learning course celebrates its 50thanniversary in Hyderab
New Delhi, 17th Jan 2018: Students and faculty of International Agriculture and Rural Development 6020 (IARD6020), Cornell University’s signature course in global engagement, escaped the snowy U.S. and arrived in Hyderabad recently. They are here spending the next few days(until 22nd Jan, 2018) visiting entrepreneurs, cooperatives, watersheds, vegetable markets, weavers and livestock enterprises in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Dharwadto better understand India’s agricultural systems, rural infrastructure, value-added and fiber industries.
It is agolden year for IARD6020, which turns 50 this year. Since 1968, the lives ofmore than 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students and hundreds of faculty,from Cornell and partner institutions abroad, have been influenced by IARD602 —the first international experiential learning course offered at Cornell, andthe oldest such course in the U.S. The course has been coming to India from2001.
SathguruManagement Consultants, Hyderabad, hosted a 50th anniversarycelebration at Taj Deccan in Hyderabadrecently to commemoratethe gala occasion. More than 125 people attended the celebration, includingJeanie Borlaug, daughter of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug, Cornelltrustee Girish V. Reddy, UsheBarwale of Mahyco, Dr. D.P. Biradar, VC ofUAS-Dharwad, Sushendru Mukherjee, Sanjay Sacheti of Olam International and afew more.The event was marked by two panel discussions: one on trainingstudents for the 21st century, and the second on theimplications of climate change for agriculture, animal and human health.
To cap offthe evening, the Cornell students and faculty, who had been detained for morethan 24 hours by the snowstorm on the East Coast of the U.S., arrived aftermuch anticipation to cheers and a cultural performance by Indian dancers.
During thegala, many Indian participants expressed their appreciation for theirassociation with Cornell. ArunVishwanathan who now runs Ganache Chocolates inCoimbatore-India, attributes his career as a chocolatier to his participationin the Cornell Food &Agri Management Course where he first visited theHershey Chocolate Factory in the U.S.
“If myfather were here tonight, he would urge us to continue to train futuregenerations of scientists, both women and men, all around the world,” saidJeanie Borlaug, in her remarks at the gala. “This is happening with IARD602 andwill happen with the new Norman Borlaug International Centre for AgricultureDevelopment at UAS-Dharwad which we inaugurated this week. Students are thenext generation — the ones who will solve the challenges of hunger and povertyin a world constrained by climate change, population, and resourcelimitations.”
RonnieCoffman, professor of plant breeding and director of International Programs atCornell, also spoke to the gathering. "In the beginning, IARD602 focusedmostly on production agriculture in the tropics. It broadened to includesocio-economic and development issues, and then expanded to provide insightsinto issues of globalization and transnational communities. The consistentthing about the course is that it often represents a life-altering experiencefor the students," said Coffman, who was first associated with the courseas a student in 1969 and is now the course’s director.
Manyindustries and agricultural institutions in India will host the students. Amongthem are: Tirumala Dairy, ICRISAT, CRIDA, NIRD, UAS-Dharwad, Bowenpally Market,AkshayaPatra Kitchen & School, the Suryavanshi Cotton Mills, ShravanStudios, Hafix Designs, and Kothapaly Watershed, to name a few.