International Alliance Strengthens Collaboration for One Health Education
Chris Brunner – December 2, 2019
The inaugural meeting of the Higher Vocational Education International Alliance for Agri-Husbandry (HVEIAA) took place in Taizhou, China, in September 2018. The summit meeting, hosted by Jiangsu Agri-animal Husbandry Vocational College, provided the opportunity for vocational colleges from more than 22 countries to establish a set of metrics to: highlight key informational programs and data bases for targeting progress in meeting common goals; establish relevant professional and industry standards; organize international skills for teachers and students; establish standards for vocational education and recognition of outstanding teachers; and, coordinate student exchanges, teacher exchanges, and continue recruiting new members.
Meeting the 2-year Benchmark
The two-year benchmark for convening the governing council was met early this fall when 13 representatives from 7 colleges representing China, the United States, Australia, and South Africa attended the governing council meeting of the HVEIAA held at the University of California, Davis, October 14-16, 2019.
Strengthening Exchanges and Cooperation
The meeting at Davis was under the direction of Wenlin Ji, Chairman of the Alliance and former President of Jiangsu Agri-animal Husbandry Vocational College. Bennie Osburn, Director of Outreach and Training at UC Davis Western Institute for Food Safety and Security, and co-Chairman of the Alliance hosted the 2-day event. Ji and Osburn were joined by 12 members of the governing council who included Yingji Luo, Vice President of Guangxi Agricultural Vocational College; ChuanShi Zhang, Dean of the College of Animal Science and Technology at Chongqing Three Gorges Vocational College; Xuetai Li, President of Shandong Vocational Animal Science and Veterinary College; Kate Baxter, Regional General Manager, West Region TAFE NSW, Australia; and Albert Jordaan, Head of Projects, Maluti Technical Vocational Education and Training College of South Africa, (Maluti TVET).
On Monday the Alliance visited the Animal Science Feedlot west of the main campus, where research in nutrition, immunology, animal behavior and ruminant physiology is carried out by the faculty of the Animal Science department, Veterinary Medicine Teaching hospital, California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the Department of Agronomy. The group also made a short stop at the Air Quality Research Center. The center provides support for teams of collaborative researchers to conduct scientific, engineering, health, social and economic research that educates and informs planning and regulations for air quality and climate change.
Following the morning tours, the Council assembled in the International Center on the Davis campus. Dr. Linxia Liang, Director of Asian International Programs with the Office of Global Affairs, welcomed the international visitors to UC Davis. The Alliance discussed opportunities to adopt new instructional, outreach and applied methods to meet the Sustainable Development Goals of poverty relief, food security and good health outlined by the United Nations. It was a unanimous decision to add the promotion of One Health education into the work task. The HVEIAA will expand on the skills required for implementing the overall One Health initiative for animal and veterinary sciences for protecting the health of animals, people and the environment.
Dean Michael Lairmore, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine was the keynote speaker on Tuesday where he gave a presentation on “Promotion of a Global Partnership for Animal, Human & Environmental Health.” Dean Lairmore’s inspirational presentation outlined approaches and goals needed to move forward in a coordinated way to meet the challenges facing animal agriculture. Here Dean Lairmore is seated with Chairman Wenlin Ji with delegates of the Council surrounding them during a break time in Gladys Valley Hall.
Co-Chairman Bennie Osburn gave closing remarks on day two and talked about how the Alliance can play a role is educating vocational faculty to be global leaders in promoting a safe and sustainable food supply from the farm to the table. The urgency of a new approach of addressing the complex issues on a global basis are associated with issues such as alleviating poverty, recognition and control of new and re-emerging zoonotic diseases, providing safe foods on a global basis that will provide a sustainable food supply, and maintain a safe and healthy environment for animals and people throughout the world. Educating undergraduate students about the interconnection between the health of people, animals, plants, and the environment is the cornerstone to solving the complex problems that threaten the health of our planet.
The participants unanimously thanked the host UC Davis for the thoughtful arrangements and hospitality, and the team led by Dr. Osburn for the meticulous preparations. Chairman Ji looks forward to all alliance members actively implementing the outcomes of the council meeting, strengthening exchanges and cooperation, working together to realize the vision of HVEIAA.
Kate Baxter will host the 2020 meeting of the Alliance Council at TAFE NSW, West Region when the Council will expand on the skills required for implementing the overall One Health initiative for animal and veterinary sciences for protecting the health of animals, people and the environment.