International Collaboration in Organic Agriculture

Opportunities for Research, Extension and Education in Uruguay

In 2006, an interdisciplinary team from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at NC State University (NCSU) received an International Science and Education grant from USDA-CSREES to create programs focused on organic production and marketing. The project built on an existing relationship between the University of North Carolina system and the nation of Uruguay to promote internationalization of NCSU research, extension and education, and to strengthen cross-cultural services and programs.

The project team consisted of extension agents, NCSU students and faculty members from NCSU and NCA&T who participated in activities in Uruguay and the United States.

Project brochure in English or Spanish (.pdf)

Uruguay Project Description

Collaboration with Uruguay provides the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at North Carolina State University (NCSU) opportunities to strengthen the global competence of its faculty, students and staff, and to improve service to the state’s growing Latino population. The goal of this project is to build a partnership between NCSU-CALS and two institutions in Uruguay, the Batoví Instituto Orgánico International and Universidad de la Empresa, that will promote internationalization of research, extension and education.

The objectives of the project are:

  1. to enhance NCSU faculty members’, students’ and extension agents’ knowledge of international organic production technologies, marketing and food safety;
  2. to involve NCSU faculty and students in international collaborative research on organic agriculture in Uruguay;
  3. to internationalize the outlook of extension programs in North Carolina; and
  4. to integrate international themes and examples into food and agriculture courses at NCSU.

The project’s approach to is to form an interdisciplinary team of faculty, extension agents and students to implement research, extension and education programs in Uruguay. These programs focus on increasing the scientific knowledge base of organic agriculture and improving Spanish language proficiency and cultural understanding. Activities include team training, partnership development with Uruguayan institutions, a short course on Organic Agriculture and Culture in Uruguay, application of lessons learned and dissemination of results.

Through project activities, faculty will enhance international and organic agriculture programs, extension agents will have a greater capacity to provide organic agriculture training and work effectively with Latino constituents, and students will have a deeper understanding of international agriculture.

The Project Team consists of six working groups, each with a designated area of focus (see listing below). Each working group is led by a project leader and will include students, extension agents and additional faculty member interested in developing research, extension and education programs relevant to the group’s area of focus.

Project Leaders

Dr. Paul Mueller,
Dept. of Crop Science Organic Crop Production

Gary Bullen,
Dept. of Ag & Resource Economics Marketing & Economics of Organic Crops

Dr. Nancy Creamer,
Dept. of Horticultural Science Organic Horticulture

Dr. Sophia Kathariou,
Dept. of Food Science Food Safety & Organic Production

Dr. Jean-Marie Luginbuhl,
Depts. of Crop & Animal Science Organic Livestock Production

Dr. Michelle Schroeder,
Dept. of Crop Science

International & Organic Agriculture Education Project Partners

Dr. Alda Rodriguez,
Batoví Instituto Orgánico (BIO) Internacional Tacuarembo, Uruguay

Claudio Williman,
Universidad de la Empresa (UDE) Montevideo, Uruguay

Uruguay Project Activities

Members of the project team participated in the following activities:

  • Spanish language study (independent and group)
  • Organic production short course in Uruguay (based at BIO-Uruguay, December 2007)
  • One of the following special projects:
    • Development of a collaborative research or extension proposal with Uruguayan colleagues (faculty team members)
    • A study abroad or research program in Uruguay (student team members)
    • An extension program or project in North Carolina (extension team members)
  • On-campus seminar series on Uruguay
  • Visits from Uruguayan collaborators (September 2007)
  • Culminating project workshop
  • Development of case studies and other learning materials for use in NCSU courses
  • Creation and maintenance of project Web site

Short Course in Uruguay

In December 2007, the project team traveled to Uruguay for a short course entitled Organic Agriculture and Culture in Latin America. Course goals were to:

  • provide information on the status of organic agriculture production, marketing, food safety and research in Uruguay and neighboring nations;
  • offer hands-on training in novel research, extension and production strategies practiced in Uruguay;
  • build the capacity of participants to interact with Latino communities in the United States through language and cultural instruction; and
  • provide opportunities for participants to network with Uruguayan counterparts.


The course was based at the BIO-Uruguay facility in Tacuarembo, Uruguay. The two-week program began with a general orientation to South American and Uruguayan agriculture, followed by instruction and training on the six central themes addressed by the working groups. These themes were discussed through lectures, demonstrations and workshops on the BIO-Uruguay farm, and hands-on learning modules at neighboring organic farms. Current and potential research initiatives at BIO-Uruguay were presented to facilitate discussion and development of collaborative research projects between NCSU, BIO-Uruguay and UDE. In addition, BIO-Uruguay was able to provide daily language instruction as well as encounters with Uruguayan culture through history, dance, art, music and other cultural workshops.

The course also included a two-day counterpart symposium to facilitate networking between NCSU participants and Uruguayan faculty, students and extension leaders. During the symposium, representative groups exchanged information on organic agriculture in their home countries. This information included topics like examples of organic extension projects, overviews of university courses relevant to organic agriculture and current research. The exchange provided information for written case studies on novel technologies and extension strategies and promoted the development of collaborative research.

A draft agenda of the short course is available for download as a .pdf file.

Agenda Diciembre 2007

(versión del 09/13/2007)


DIA 1 – Sábado 08/12
Arribo a Montevideo al mediodia. Traslado al Hotel. Resto del día libre.

DIA 2 – Domingo 09/12
09.00 hs Visita a productores orgánicos (APODU= Asociación Productores Orgánicos de Uruguay) en la Feria del Parque Rodó
12.00 hs Almuerzo en el Castillo Pittamiglio y recorrida por el mismo.
03.00 hs Visita a Supermercado Tienda Inglesa – Productos Orgánicos (Grupo Punto Verde)
04.00 hs Recorrida por el Shopping de Montevideo
05.30 hs Regreso al Hotel.
07.30 hs Cena

DIA 3 – Lunes 10/12
08.00 hs Salida del Hotel hacia la Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias (FCA) de UDE
08.30 hs Curso de Español
09.30 hs Presentación del Curso sobre Producción Orgánica en Uruguay.
12.00 hs Almuerzo
01.30 hs Salida para el departamento de Canelones, para Visita de 2 fincas de Producción Orgánica del Grupo Punto Verde.
03:00 a 0.5:00 Finca 1 / 05:30 a 07:30 Finca 2
07.30 hs Retorno a Montevideo
09.00 hs Llegada al Hotel y Cena

DIA 4 – Martes 11/12
06.00 hs Salida del Hotel con destino al departamento de Florida.
08.00 hs. Visita de una finca de producción de Vino Orgánico. (Finca 3)
10.00 hs Salida para el departamento de Canelones.
11.00 hs. Visita al Campo de la FCA (UDE)
01.00 hs. Almuerzo
02.00 hs. Retorno para Montevideo.
03.30 hs. Llegada al Hotel
03.50 hs Traslado a UDE Central
04.00 hs Taller sobre los Estudios de Casos
04:00 a 05:15 trabajo en 3 grupos (uno por finca)
05:15 a 06:00 presentación de cada grupo (15’ por grupo)
06:00 a 07:00 intercambio de opiniones en plenario
07.00 hs. Retorno al Hotel
08.00 hs Cena

DIA 5 – Miércoles 12/12
07.50 hs Traslado del Hotel a UDE Central
08.00 hs Clase Idioma Español
09.00 hs Salida para Campo experimental INIA “Las Brujas”
10.00 hs. Visita INIA “Las Brujas”
12.30 hs Almuerzo
01.30 hs Salida para Montevideo
02.45 hs Llegada a UDE Central y Charla sobre Áreas Protegidas (Programas PPR y DINAMA)
04.00 hs Traslado al Hotel
05.00 hs Traslado del Hotel a la Terminal de Bus.
06.00 hs Salida para el departamento de Tacuarembó
10.30 hs Llegada a Tacuarembó, traslado y alojamiento en BIOURUGUAY
11.00 hs Cena en BIOURUGUAY

DIA 6 – Jueves 13/12
08.00 hs Desayuno en BIO URUGUAY
09.00 hs Clase Idioma Español
10.00 hs Presentación y recorrida por BIO URUGUAY (Finca 1)
12.30 hs Almuerzo
01.30 hs Salida para visitar Frigorífico Tacuarembó (02:00 a 03:30) y Finca 2, de Carne Orgánica (04:30 a 06:30)
06.30 hs Regreso a BIO URUGUAY
07.30 hs Llegada a BIO URUGUAY
08.30 hs Cena en BIOURUGUAY

DIA 7 – Viernes 14/12
08:00 hs Desayuno en BIO URUGUAY
09.00 hs Clase Idioma Español
10.00 hs Salida para visitar 2 fincas (Finca 3 y 4) del Programa de “Huertas Orgánicas”
01.00 hs Retorno a BIO Uruguay
01:30 hs Almuerzo
03.00 hs Descanso
05.00 hs. Salida para Tacuarembó y recorrida por la ciudad.
06.30 hs Taller abierto sobre “Producción de Carne Orgánica” con participación de INIA y Frigorífico Tacuarembó, productores de carne orgánica e invitados.
09.30 hs Regreso a BIO URUGUAY
10.00 hs Cena en BIOURUGUAY

DIA 8 –Sábado 15/12
08.00 hs Desayuno en BIO URUGUAY
09.00 hs Taller sobre los Estudios de Casos
09:00 a 10:15 trabajo en 4 grupos (uno por finca)
10:15 a 11:15 presentación de cada grupo (15’ por grupo)
11:15 a 12:00 intercambio de opiniones en plenario
12.00 hs. Cierre del Curso
12.30 hs Almuerzo y Actividades Culturales
05.00 hs Traslado de BIO URUGUAY a Tacuarembó
06.00 hs Traslado en Bus de Tacuarembó a Montevideo
10.30 hs Arribo a Montevideo, traslado y alojamiento en el Hotel

DIA 9 – Domingo 16/12
Día Libre, Regreso a Carolina del Norte

May 2009 – April 2010

  • Communication of project results
  • NCSU Campus seminar series on Uruguay
  • Culminating workshop in North Carolina

January 2008 – April 2009

  • Student exchange programs in Uruguay
  • Project extension activities in North Carolina
  • Proposal development with Uruguayan collaborators

December 7-17, 2007

  • Organic Agriculture Short Course in Uruguay

September 9-14, 2007

May 2007

  • Team selected
  • Team members began Spanish language training (ongoing)

March 2007

  • Project leaders visit Uruguayan Partners
  • Project Web site developed

Presentations from September 11 Meeting

With Claudio Williman (Universidad de la Empresa) and Alda Rodriguez (BIO-Uruguay)

Presentations Given in Uruguay

Case Studies

Presented by Members of the International Organic Agriculture Team