University of Arkansas, Israel advance agricultural partnership

The University of Arkansas' Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences will meet with representatives from Israel's agriculture and science industries this week to explore a partnership that would create new funding opportunities and professional exchanges of scientists between the U.S. and Israel.

The visiting delegation includes the Israeli Embassy's Minister for Agriculture and Science Affairs Menahem Hesse and Executive Director of United States-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development (BARD) Fund Edo Chalutz. Deputy Secretary of the Arkansas Agriculture Department Cynthia Edwards will represent the state.

“We look forward to visiting with Minister Hesse, Executive Director Chalutz, and Deputy Secretary Edwards,” Bumpers College Dean Mike Vayda said. “It’s an honor to host them and have them on our campus. We are excited about discussing possibilities for the Bumpers College and the University of Arkansas to participate in the BARD-NIFA grant program. Water, food and agriculture are vital for the welfare of everyone. If the opportunity is there, we have multiple faculty members who will be eager to collaborate and cooperate with other scientists on addressing issues in those areas.”

The U.S.-Israel BARD Fund is a competitive grant program that funds agricultural science research carried out by mixed teams of U.S. and Israeli scientists. To date, it has provided more than $290 million for more than 1,250 projects.

This year, the fund is most interested in funding projects that develop solutions addressing farm water access, farm water quality, food security and climate change.

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