UOG students to study smart agriculture technology in Taiwan
Ten University of Guam students will be heading to Taiwan in July to explore the latest in agricultural practices and technologies. The students were selected and awarded travel scholarships for the Smart Agriculture Technology & Culture Experience Study Abroad Program through a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food & Agriculture grant received last year by the UOG College of Natural & Applied Sciences. The grant program aims to advance agriculture and food science education in insular institutions with the use of virtual reality technology.
The students began the program this week with Chinese language lessons taught by Dr. Liang-Kuang Chen, a visiting scholar from National Taiwan Normal University, to enhance their experience in Taiwan.
“Our teacher has been very helpful and understanding — especially at the [accelerated] pace we’re going,” said Cecilia Pangelinan, a junior in UOG’s Agriculture & Life Sciences Program.
The students will arrive in Taiwan on July 3, where they will spend two weeks getting hands-on experience both using virtual reality technology and, in the field, operating farm implements.
“Through this program, the students will gain a deep understanding of the challenges and solutions faced by farmers from around the world,” said Dr. Kuan-Ju Chen, assistant professor of agricultural economics at UOG. “They will have the opportunity to experience different philosophies concerning land use, get hands-on experience with time-honored agricultural methods, and witness the cutting-edge future of farming.”
Their experience will include visits to the Smart Agriculture Center, the Known-You Seed Co., the Fengshan Tropical Horticulture Experimental Branch, Cacao Farm Formosa, the National Science & Technology Museum, and traditional markets.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the difference in agriculture between Taiwan and Guam,” said Aubrie Uson, a senior agriculture major and public administration minor. “I want to see how they implement technology into their agriculture.”
The study-broad program highlights the Smart Agricultural Technology program at National Pingtung University of Sciences & Technology and the Taiwan Huayu Bilingual Exchanges of Selected Talent Program at the National Taiwan Normal University -- two new sister colleges of UOG’s College of Natural & Applied Sciences. The program is also supported by Honhui Group (Taiwan), which has donated laptops for the students to use.
Students interested in participating in the Smart Agriculture Technology & Culture Experience Study Abroad Program in the future can contact Dr. Kuan-Ju Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org.