Arkansas Visit Opens Doors to US Interns at SRUC

Published Wednesday, 31st October 2012 in International Activities news

Arkansas visit

An SRUC delegation has just returned from a fruitful trip across the pond to the University of Arkansas.

They were exploring opportunities to strengthen links with the Division of Agriculture and Dale Bumpers College of Agriculture, Food & Life Sciences.

The group comprised Dr Bill Spoor, Crop & Soils Research Group Manager and Edinburgh Campus Dean, Dr Nick Sparks, Head of Avian Research and Ayr Campus Dean, Dr Mark Hocart, Senior Tutor and Postgraduate Manager, SRUC Education and Jane Smernicki, Head of the SRUC Communications Unit.

Their main task was to explore two-way internship/exchange programmes for students and, potentially, staff. It is hoped SRUC will welcome a small group of student interns next summer. They will join the Crop & Soils and Avian Science Research Groups, the Communications Unit and the Rural Policy Centre. Further opportunities for internships and exchanges were also identified.

Amongst their other activities, the SRUC group met Dr Clarence Watson, Director of the Division of Agriculture’s Experiment Station, who highlighted the extensive scope of agriculture-related research being undertaken at UoA and its mission to maintain a close working relationship between research, education and extension activities.

SRUC’s commitment to excellence in the advancement, communication and translation of knowledge throughout the rural sector has close similarities with the Division’s own mission. The group identified that there is scope to explore further how SRUC may learn from its US colleagues, and vice versa.

The group also visited Tyson Foods, one of the world's largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef and pork. They took a tour of the Tyson Discovery Centre, a research and development facility designed to enhance the company’s ability to create new foods and bring them to market more quickly.

The SRUC group’s return journey was challenging thanks to poor weather causing them to miss their US-to-London flight, but they are just relieved to have made it home before Hurricane Sandy took hold!

Photo caption L-R: Dr Jeff Miller, University of Arkansas, plus Dr Mark Hocart, Dr Nick Sparks, Dr Bill Spoor and Jane Smernicki from SRUC.

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