Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fulbright and INEA Meetings in Rome

On May 24, I had a meeting in Rome with Professors Anna Tozzi, Margherita Mori from L'Aquila and Maria Grazia Quieti, PhD and executive director of the Fulbright US - Italy Fulbright Commission and Sandro Zinani, Educational Advisor. We had an excellent meeting and they explained the mission and goals of the Fulbright US -Italy Commission and the desire to support the efforts of LSU and Universita L'Aquila in developing a lasting relationship that could result in both faculty and student exchanges as well as joint research and study projects. I indicated to Dr. Grazia Quieti that we are already discussing these items and that Professor Mori and I are discussing the publishing of case studies the show the lessons learned in handling both disasters, the hurricanes and the earthquake. We concluded the meeting with a video interview that can be posted on the Fulbright website and I have been asked to write an article for their newsletter. The website is www.fulbright.it We left from the Fulbright office to go to the offices of the National Institute of Agriculture Economy (INEA) which is a research arm of the Italian Ministry of Agriculture. The INEA had a number of staff members present for my presentation and they were very interested in the LSU/ LBTC's mobile classroom or incubator on wheels and our rural entrpreneurship program. It appears that much of Italy is rural and this ministry is looking for effective ways to assist rural farmers in developing value added products and stimulating the economy in these rural areas. They also showed great interest in the economic impact of the LBTC and the food incubator program which was developed after Katrina in Norco Louisiana. Martina Bolli, one of the INEA researchers, requested materials that I will be sending her on several aspects of my presentation. We concluded the presentation with a brief Q&A then we departed for L'Aquila.

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