Czech it out: Building relationships with an international partner

Celine Richard at Mendek

Celine Richard, rigth, spent the summer interning at Mendel University's Lednice campus. Richard studied plant and soil systems at LSU and worked with Mendel's horticulture department.  

The LSU AgCenter and LSU College of Agriculture are working closely with Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic. The institutions believe the relationship can make our students brighter, our institutions stronger and our world a better place.

Faculty and students are collaborating in teaching and research.

Cameron Roig, an agricultural business student in the College of Agriculture, took advantage of the student exchange agreement between the two universities and spent a year at Mendel University.

“Overall, my time spent in the Czech Republic has been quite positive.” Roig said. “I feel welcomed by staff, have ample opportunities to explore the city as well as neighboring countries and enjoy the experiences of working and living with people from all over the world.”

Celine Richard, a recent LSU graduate in plant and soil systems, spent a summer interning at Mendel University. There she worked with the school’s horticulture program. Last fall, faculty from the program came to LSU and worked with the college’s Department of Textiles, Apparel Design and Merchandising and the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden to stage a floral fashion show, Couture de la Fleur.

Matt Fannin, professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, visited Mendel University and presented a lecture titled “Comparative Analysis of Agriculture and Rural Regional Economies Between the Czech Republic and Louisiana.” Students in the Regional Development and Agrisciences colleges at Mendel University were invited to attend the lecture in person while Fannin’s students in his Rural Resource and Community Development class at LSU watched online.

“I believe there are continued collaborative opportunities,” Fannin said. “Similar to Louisiana, there is a desire to increase value-added opportunities for agriculture that link in with other sectors of the economy. Also, issues of sustainability of land and water resources are common issues between the two regions that both faculty and students could address jointly through research scholarship and coursework.”

The two universities have also collaborated with private industry on research projects. Two Mendel University students spent time on campus with LSU AgCenter and A. Wilbert’s Sons, a Louisiana landowner and property manager, working on eucalyptus trees and essential oils from the trees for commercial purposes.

Visiting scholars from Mendel University also worked on the first phase of an economic impact study of the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator.

Now Mendel and LSU AgCenter teams are mapping out future projects.

Written By: Tobie Blanchard