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Cornell program receives $490,000 for Central Europe Initiative promoting human, agricultural and environmental development

The Alfred Jurzykowski Foundation has presented Cornell University's International Agriculture Program (IAP) with a six-year, $490,002 gift for the program's Central Europe Initiative. The gift will help the program improve human, agricultural and environmental development in that region.

"Central Europe is a very important region of the world that is quickly becoming part of the larger European economic community," says James Haldemann, director of IAP, which is a program in Cornell's New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "As Central European countries complete the major economic transition to a free market economy and become potential trade partners, we can help those countries become better prepared for trade."

For example, Haldemann says, free trade requires the adoption of stringent food quality and safety standards. "Leaders in these countries felt that Cornell could play a key role in helping them understand and hopefully meet those types of standards," Haldemann says. That role, he says, will serve as a catalyst to enhance cooperation among universities, research institutes, governmental, non-governmental and community organizations.

Three specific groups within the initiative will be buoyed by the gift:

  • The Environment and Natural Resources Group, led by Harold van Es, Cornell associate professor of crop and soil science, and Dusan Huska, a professor and dean at the Agricultural University Nitra in the Slovak Republic (Slovakia), will share $42,500 annually for four years for research and outreach in environmental science and technology.
  • The Food Quality and Safety Working Group, coordinated by Robert Gravani, Cornell professor of food science, and Tomasz Radomyski of INSTA-PRO International, Poland, will receive $36,667 annually for six years to enhance food quality and safety in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • The Rural Development Working Group, coordinated by David Brown, Cornell professor of rural sociology, and Mieczyslaw Adamowicz, professor at Warsaw Agricultural University, Poland, will receive $20,000 annually for five years to enhance support of rural development policy in Central Europe.

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