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K-State Today

October 13, 2021

Ceremonial signing on centennial anniversary of K-State work with the Philippines

Submitted by Layne Wilson

Kansas State University has had 100 years of involvement in international education in the Philippines. The first involvement of K-State was when Leland Call — for whom Call Hall is named — was assigned in 1921 to consult with the Philippines on agriculture programs. Now, 100 years later, there has been a memorandum of understanding signing ceremony for renewed partnerships with many universities and colleges with a focus on agri-food systems in the Philippines.

K-State has a memorandum of understanding with 14 state universities and colleges in the Philippines. These partnerships were facilitated by the Philippines Commission on Higher Education and EducationUSA, an initiative by the U.S. embassy in the Philippines. In addition, K-State also has a memorandum of understanding with the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture, or SEARCA. In attendance at the signing were the presidents and chancellors of the Higher Education Institutions and the director of SEARCA.

Grant Chapman, associate provost for international programs at K-State, represented and facilitated the signing of the memorandum and read a message from Richard Myers, president of K-State.

"I am so pleased Kansas State University and several Philippines Higher Education Institutions with SEARCA started implementing this memorandum of understanding," Myers said. "I am optimistic our memorandum will lead to greater collaborations and partnerships with action items we can synergistically do together."

Vara Prasad, university distinguished professor and director of the Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab at K-State, said, "There are great opportunities in the Philippines in agri-food systems research focused on climate-smart agricultural practices, and these networks and partnerships will allow faculty and students to proactively engage with each other to address key challenges of food, nutrition and climate security."

Manny Reyes, research professor with the Sustainable Intensification Lab, led and built these linkages and partnerships. He also anchored these specific discussions.

"The initial area of interest and cooperation will be on conservation agriculture for organic agriculture," Reyes said.

"The collaboration with K-State is a significant undertaking toward conservation and enhancement of agricultural resources," said Merian Catajay-Mani, president of Romblon State University in the Philippines. Others also expressed similar sentiments.

The mission of the collaboration is to grow and distribute nutritious and healthy food, profitably and equitably, while enhancing soil-water-air quality, biodiversity, and ecosystem health. This will not only help mitigate climate change but also nurture peace and relationships in communities.

Virtual signing ceremony video.