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J Anim Sci. 1996 Jun;74(6):1386-94.

Global linkages in animal agriculture: new opportunities for United States agricultural universities.

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  • 1Department of Animal Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695-7621, USA.


Today's rapidly changing world offers new opportunities for Departments of Animal Science that wish to expand their international activity. Seeking a relevant role in the definition of sustainable agriculture, internationalizing courses and curricula for all students, supporting private sector enterprises at home and abroad (export promotion), maintaining collaboration with former students, and providing better information to our farmers and citizens about world conditions: these are some of the challenges now facing us. A survey of heads of departments of animal science at universities in the United States revealed that of 64 respondents, almost all report significant international activities. However, only 20% are satisfied with their present activity level, and 80% intend to seek an expanded international role. The expected benefits from international activity most often mentioned were a broadened faculty experience and a better capacity to prepare students for the 21st century. Anticipated problems are related to faculty and departmental recognition, faculty career trajectories, and continuity of work assignments. On balance, respondents overwhelmingly believe that expected benefits outweigh possible problems. Eighty percent of respondents reported a generally supportive attitude from their administration, but 75% indicated that the department itself needs to provide leadership in the search for new international linkages.

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