New IANR faculty, staff tour state
On Aug. 5-6, 20 new faculty and staff in UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources traveled across the state as part of the IANR Roads Scholar Tour. Among the stops were UNL research and extension facilities as well as businesses and a state historical park.
The annual tour, first held in 2008, helps new faculty and staff learn more about the variety of resources that can be found across Nebraska. The tour also provides new hires the opportunity to meet innovative people in the region.
For Simanti Banerjee, going on the Roads Scholar Tour was an opportunity to see other parts of the state she now calls home. The agricultural economics assistant professor is from an urban area of India and had not explored Nebraska since joining UNL’s faculty last fall.
“I was pleasantly surprised that IANR found a way to not only focus on agriculture, but also highlight all of the other opportunities Nebraska has to offer,” Banerjee said.
Tour stops included the South Central Agricultural Laboratory near Clay Center; Raising Nebraska at State Fair Park in Grand Island; Lindsay Manufacturing in Lindsay; DNA Swine Genetics near Columbus; Ashfall Fossil Bed near Royal; Grove Trout Rearing Station near Royal; Haskell Agricultural Laboratory near Concord; Laurel BioComposite in Laurel; and the Nielsen Community Center in West Point.
Faculty and staff came from various departments within IANR, including agricultural economics; agricultural leadership, education and communication; agronomy and horticulture; food science and technology; IANR Media; nutrition and health sciences; the School of Natural Resources; and the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Agricultural Research Division Dean Archie Clutter also joined the group.
In addition to providing resources for instructors, the nearly 600-mile road trip gave attendees a significant amount of bus time to form connections. “It’s good to know more about the place where you live and the people you’re working with,” Banerjee said. “This tour was an enjoyable way to accomplish both.”