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International ag research – Audio

International ag research - Audio

International ag research

Sundaram “Guna” Gunasekaran, Director
CALS International Research
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
(608) 262-1019, (608) 262-7794

3:00 – Total Time
0:17 – Value of world wide research
0:44 – Potatoes, dairy
1:16 – Return on investment
1:41 – More global partners
2:00 – Big college involvement
2:40 – Recent travels for research
2:51 – Lead out


Sevie Kenyon: The value of collaborative University international research we’re visiting today with Sundaram Gunasekaran, University of Wisconsin-Madison in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon. Guna, tell us why it’s so important for universities to collaborate on research around the world.

Sundaram Gunasekaran: We at the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences have a tremendous expertise in a number of areas that we can really help around the world in a number of different research areas, securing safety of food supply and water resources, but we also look into opportunities where knowledge can help solve larger problems.

Sevie Kenyon: What kind of problems are we talking about?

Sundaram Gunasekaran: Developing potatoes for example that are resistant to cold or high temperatures, drought tolerance. For example in China they’re trying to increase the dairy milk production. China has a goal to double their milk production in the next several years so we are trying to look into nutrition for the animals as well as genetics, how can we increase their productivity and help keep the animals safe.

Sevie Kenyon: What’s in it for us? What’s in it for CALS?

Sundaram Gunasekaran: The international opportunity for us to really bring more science and technology to the world and as a scientist and researcher it is our job to help solve the problems, not just around our neighborhood but also ensure that our science and technology helping everyone in the world.

Sevie Kenyon: How do you see international research changing over time?

Sundaram Gunasekaran: International research is changing as other countries and regions of the world are also growing their expertise. Now we can actually join hands with them in solving a problem rather than just being the problem solver ourselves.

Sevie Kenyon:  How many people in CALS are involved in this?

Sundaram Gunasekaran: We have done a recent survey that more than 200 people in our CALS have been working in about 80 countries around the world in various projects at one time or another. So, we are very engaged internationally.

Sevie Kenyon: Guna, are there certain places in the world that we’re more active than others?

Sundaram Gunasekaran: In Africa we are in Ethiopia and Mali and Uganda for example, and then Haitian countries we have done some work in Thailand and Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos.

Sevie Keyon: Where have your most recent travels taken you?

Sundaram Gunasekaran: Since I have been on this job over five months I have already traveled to Japan and China and, most recently, I just got back from Thailand.

Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting with Sundaram Gunasekaran, University of Wisconsin-Madison in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon.