Program Day 1

  • University of Turku, Finland
  • Title:Fusarium Graminearum Diversity in Finland, Norway, and Russia
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Abstract:

The 3ADON chemotype of F. graminearum predominates in northern Europe, whereas the 15ADON chemotype is predominant in Central and southern Europe. In the present work, molecular chemotypes and variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) markers were used to assess population structure and diversity among Fusarium graminearum isolates from four regional locations: Finland and northwestern Russia (F+NWR; N = 40), south Russia including central European Russia (SR; N = 54), Russian Far East (RFE; N = 96), and Norway (NOR; N =106). Trichothecene genotype composition was significantly different across the sampling locations. The 3ADON type was predominant in F+NWR+NOR, the 15ADON type was predominant in SR, and RFE had a balanced composition of these two trichothecene genotypes. The NIV genotype was not observed among the studied collection of F. graminearum. Analyses of population structure and relatedness indicated that the F. graminearum population in F+NWR are closely related to the NOR population and they can be considered as a unified population. However, significant differentiation was observed between the F+NWR+NOR population and those from the other sampled regions. The F+NWR+NOR population had substantially less genetic diversity than in the other regions. The observed high genetic diversity of populations in the Russian Far East suggests that it may be a source population for the other locations. Combined analyses of isolates from all sampled locations using a Bayesian clustering method indicated that there were two major genetic clusters in the sample, although additional substructuring was observed. Each of the two genetic clusters contained about 50 % of the isolates, and all but nine isolates (3.0%) were assigned to one of the two genetic clusters with high probability (q ≥ 0.8). Significant (P < 0.001) regional differences in genetic population frequencies were observed. Cluster 1 including F+ NWR and most Norwegian isolates had less genetic diversity than cluster 2 including most SR and RFE isolates. Cluster 1 may be more specialized to oats, which is supported by the fact that only the 3ADON genotype has been found in oats in Europe.

Biography:

Education and degrees completed
• Doctor of Philosophy, University of Turku, Plant Physiology, December 13, 1990,
• Cum laude approbatur in Genetics, Univ. of Turku, May 1989
• Licentiate in Philosophy (Plant physiology), May 1987, Univ. of Turku.
• Highest degree in Biochemistry (mol. biol.) for MSc, October 1985, Univ. of Turku.
• Master of Science (Botany), May 1985, Univ. of Turku
• Docent/Adjunct Professor in Mycology (Ecology and Systematics/Plant biology), September 19, 2002, Univ. of
Helsinki
• Docent/Adjunct Professor in Mycology (Plant Physiology & Molecular Biology), November 27, 1997, Univ. of
Turku
Current position
• Adjunct Professor in Mycology at the Laboratory of Molecular Plant Biology at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Turku. Adjunct Professor in Mycology at the University of Helsinki. I am occasionally teaching at the universities of Turku and Helsinki and I am a head (PI) of head of two research projects at the University of Turku. A three year personal grant from Finnish Cultural Foundation July 2017-June 2020.
• Editorial Board member of the Journal of Plant Pathology 2015-.
• Advisory Board member of the Russian journal “Plant Protection News” 2014-
• Supervisor of the PhD thesis of Asmaa Shaban 2019-
• Also getting income from farming and forestry

Referee experience
• total more than 120 reviews in different journals

Skils and topics:
E.g. Biology, Agricultural Science, Real-time PCR, Molecular Mycology and Fusarium research.

  • East Carolina University,USA
  • Title:MicroRNA-Regulated Mechanisms and it’s Application for Improving Crop Tolerance to Abiotic Stress
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Abstract:

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are an extensive class of endogenous, small RNA molecules that sit at the heart of regulating gene expression in multiple developmental and signalling pathways. Recent studies have shown that abiotic stresses induce aberrant expression of many miRNAs, thus suggesting that miRNAs may be a new target for genetically improving plant tolerance to certain stresses. These studies have also shown that miRNAs respond to environmental stresses in a miRNA-, stress-, tissue-, and genotype-dependent manner. During abiotic stress, miRNAs function by regulating target genes within the miRNA-target gene network and by controlling signalling pathways and root development. Generally speaking, stress-induced miRNAs lead to down-regulation of negative regulators of stress tolerance whereas stress-inhibited miRNAs allow the accumulation and function of positive regulators. Currently, the majority of miRNA-based studies have focused on the identification of miRNAs that are responsive to different stress conditions and analysing their expression profile changes during these treatments. This has predominately been accomplished using deep sequencing technologies and other expression analyses, such as quantitative real-time PCR. In the future, more function and expression studies will be necessary in order to elucidate the common miRNA-mediated regulatory mechanisms that underlie tolerance to different abiotic stresses. The use of artificial miRNAs, as well as overexpression and knockout/down of both miRNAs and their targets, will be the best techniques for determining the specific roles of individual miRNAs in response to environmental stresses.
Biography:

Dr. Baohong Zhang is currently working as a distinguished professor at East Carolina University (ECU, US). Dr. Zhang graduated from China Agricultural University. After received his bachelor degree, he worked on cotton biotechnology at Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Then he received his PhD from Texas Tech University in 2006. Dr. Zhang has authored more than 200 publications with more than 12,000 citations, many of them are listed as highly cited papers by the Web of Sciences, his h-index is 49. Dr. Zhang frequently reviewed manuscripts for many international journals, including Nature and Nature Biotechnology. He also served as an Associate Editor or Guest Editor for 7 journals, including Scientific Reports and Plant Biotechnology Journal. He has reviewed proposals for more than 40 funding agents, including NSF, US DoE, US USDA, and NSFC. Dr. Zhang is elected to the Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2018. He won the Researcher of the Year 2018 award by the ICAC. In 2018, Dr. Zhang won the THCAS Distinguished Professorship and the Highly Cited Scholar awards. Recently, he also won the Lifetime Research Achievement Award, the top honor for ECU faculty.

  • Delaware State University, USA
  • Title: The Growing U.S. Bioeconomy: Drivers, Development and Constraints
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Abstract:

The U.S. bioeconomy emerged in the early 2000s as a result of the societal pursuit of energy independence and security, greenhouse gas emission mitigation and sustainable development. Founded on biotechnologies and stimulated by federal policies, the U.S. bioeconomy has been growing rapidly over the past decade. Intensive research and development endeavors have been carried out to explore advanced technologies for efficient biomass production, conversion, and valorization. The bioenergy products currently commercialized in the U.S. include bioethanol, biodiesel, biogas, bioheat and biopower; the commercialized bioproducts extend to biopolymers, biochemicals, biopharmaceuticals and bioadhesives. In 2018, more than 66.0 billion liters of biofuels and 2,950 certified bioproducts were produced, creating 4 million job opportunities and sharing 2.9% of the U.S. economy. Commercial production of cellulosic ethanol, renewable diesel, green jet fuel and other advanced biofuels remains at the demonstration stage and needs further improvement in cost-competitiveness. High costs of delivered biomass feedstock, immature biomass refinery technologies, lack of cost-comparative bioproducts, and low fossil fuel prices have been identified as the major constraints to a strong U.S. bioeconomy. To improve the bioeconomic viability, further biotechnological advances and integrated biorefinery processes are warranted.

Biography:

Dr. Mingxin Guo is a Professor of Soil and Agricultural Sciences at Delaware State University, Dover, Delaware, USA. He received his M.S. in Environmental Chemistry from Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1995 and his Ph.D. in Soil Science from Pennsylvania State University in 2001. Dr. Guo joined the faculty of Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Delaware State University in 2004 with split teaching and research appointments on soil, water, and environmental sciences. His teaching covers Soil Science, Soil & Water Management, Soil Fertility & Plant Nutrition, Hydrology, and Limnology, while his research extends to valueadded reuse of agricultural byproducts and soil health assessment & management. Considering biomass supply is the base of a thriving bioeconomy, while sustainable production of biomass requires wise management of land, soil, and water, Dr. Guo is focusing his current research on farm-based production and utilization of organic residues-derived biochar and pyrolysis bio-oil, aiming to improve soil quality, crop productivity, and rural prosperity.

  • Mississippi State University, USA
  • Title: From Arabidopsis to Crops: A Molecular Tool to Increase Protein Content and Broad Disease Resistance
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Abstract:

Crop plants must integrate signals from the environment and prioritize responses to stresses that may occur individually or simultaneously throughout the growing season. Stress responses can adversely affect plant growth and quality traits such as protein and starch. The ability to optimize protein productivity of plant-based foods has far-ranging impact on world health and sustainability. Plant diseases each year cause major losses to crop production. The Arabidopsis thaliana QQS (Qua Quine Starch) orphan gene modulates carbon allocation to protein and starch1. Ectopic QQS expression increases protein content2 in leaf and seed in soybean, in corn and rice3,4. QQS transcript levels are altered in plants under stresses and in mutants of genes involved in all sorts of stress responses, indicating that QQS may integrate primary metabolism with environmental perturbations, thus adjusting the plant’s adaption to abiotic and biotic stresses5. The QQS protein binds to a transcriptional regulator in Arabidopsis and its homologs in crops: Nuclear Factor Y subunit C4 (NF-YC4). NF-YC4 overexpression mimics QQS-overexpression phenotype4. Mutants overexpressing QQS or NF-YC4 have significantly increased resistance to plant pathogens and pests6,7. We are developing a non-transgenic strategy to create high-protein crops and enhance broad-spectrum disease resistance6. Transcriptomics analyses enable new discovery to advance basic research and application in crops.

Biography:

Dr. Li obtained her B.S. in biology and M.S. in Botany from Peking University in 1997 and 2000. She got her Ph.D. in Genetics (minor in Statistics) in 2006 from Iowa State University. She had been an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology at Iowa State University from 2011. She has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Mississippi State University from 2017. Dr. Li has been developing an integrated experimental/biocomputational approach to identify the factors that regulate plant metabolism and plant adaptation to environmental changes, bridging basic research from Arabidopsis and application in crops.

  • TH Köln-University of Applied Sciences, Germany
  • Title:Socioeconomic, Agricultural, and Individual Factors Shaping Farmers’ Perceptions and Willingness of Compost Production and Use in Wadi al-Far`a Watershed-Palestine
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Abstract:

In Palestine, open dumping and/or burning the waste, including agricultural waste, are prevalent practices resulting in emitting leachate and acidifying greenhouse gases. Composting the agricultural waste can reduce emissions and provide ‘compost’ as an organic fertilizer and soil amendment. This, in turn, contributes to food security, sustainable agriculture, and reduction in energy inputs used for production of synthetic fertilizers. Nevertheless, it has not been implemented at the Palestinian national level. To develop a local marketing strategy for compost, this study views a need to identify farmers’ perceptions and willingness of compost production and use in agriculture, and examine various socioeconomic, agricultural, and individual factors shaping them. The case of Wadi al-Far`a watershed (WFW) is investigated, where farmers practice inappropriate waste disposal and overuse of agrochemicals. A semi-structured questionnaire is administered to 409 farmers through face-to-face interviews. Descriptive statistics, bivariate analyses, Chi-square test, and binary logistic regression are used for data analysis.
High acceptance level (84%) is disclosed among farmers in WFW for the hypothetical idea of producing and using compost. Farmers also have high, yet lower, willingness level (63.6%) of the more salient option of producing compost themselves and using it in agriculture. Tenure systems, large cultivated areas, rain-fed irrigation, and lack of access to training sessions inhibit farmers’ acceptance of the idea of compost production (overall p-value = 0.000). Large cultivated areas and rain-fed irrigation is also associated with farmers’ unwillingness to produce compost, besides high household monthly income, animal or mixed animal-plant farming, experience in compost production, and use of pesticides (overall p-value = 0.000). Subsidizing raw manure price and costs of manure production and transportation as well as providing practice-based extension services will enhance farmers’ willingness to produce and use compost.

Biography:

Suha al-Madbouh graduated with the degree of Doctor of Public Health (Dr.PH) from Bielefeld University/ Germany in 2014. She obtained her master degree in Environmental Health from the American University of Beirut (AUB)/ Lebanon in 2006. Currently, she is a post-doctoral researcher, lecturer, and academic supervisor at the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT)/ Cologne University of Applied Sciences. She is also on-call consultant and evaluator for the environmental and health research proposals at the Palestinian American Research Center (PARC) in Ramallah City, Palestine. Additionally, she is a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Trainer and conducted different SEA training courses in the MENA region, including Palestine and Jordan. Previously, she worked as a project coordinator for different health and environmental projects in the West Bank implemented by the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, Ramallah Municipality, Al-Quds University, and Medecins Du Monde Greece.

  • University of Venda, South Africa.
  • Title:Effect of Soybean Flour on the Functional and Physico-Chemical Properties of Malted Finger Millet Weaning Blend
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Abstract:

Weaning is a period of transition for the infant during which its diet changes in terms of consistency and food source. The study was carried out to investigate the effect of soybean flour supplementation on functional and physico-chemical properties of malted finger millet (FM) weaning blend. FM and yellowish soy beans (SBs) were used for the development of the blend. FM was malted at 25oC for 48 hrs, oven dried at 60oC overnight and milled into flour, while SBs were oven dried, roasted at 100oC for 10 mins, decorticated and milled into fine flour. Four (4)complementary food samples (including the control) were formulated and mixed in ratios 100:0, 80:20, 60:40 and 40:60 (malted FM:SB) respectively. The samples were analysed for functional properties, proximate composition and thermal properties. Data was analysed using SPSS version 24 software programme. Results showed that protein content ranged from 10.57-46.03%, moisture 3.88-6.80%, fat (4.11 -16.67%), crude fibre (3.34-9.32%), ash (3.34-5.51%) and carbohydrate (17.56-73.19%).The physico-chemical and functional analyses showed that bulk density ranged from 0.66 – 0.69 ml/g, water absorption index 2.43 – 2.66 g/g, oil absorption index (1.21–1.50 g/g), pH (5.64-6.18), dispersibility (76.00.00%), swelling power (2.53-3.42 g/g), cold paste viscosity (16.67-18.67 cP) and cooked paste viscosity (284.00-1921.67) cP. Thermal properties showed onset temperature mean scores range from (70.92-106.14oC), peak temperature (78.09-115.54oC), conclusion temperature 85.02113.38oC, gelatinization temperature range 7.24-14.10oC, enthalpy ()1.24-5.29J/g and peak height index (0.09-0.73 J/g/°C). Colour measurements showed L* (54.53-76.77), a* (6.60-24.70), C* (6.43-22.80), Ho (66.23-70.23), ∆E (24.20- 51.93). SB flour gradually improved the physico-chemical, functional, thermal and colour attributes of the produced blend. The study showed that there was a potential for using SB flour in cereal based complementary food.

Biography:

Dr. S.E. Ramashia graduated her PhD in Agriculture (Food Science and Technology) on the 21st of September 2018 ( University of Venda), Masters degree in Food Technology on the 5th of May 2013 (Tshwane University of Technology) and Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology on the 16 of September 2004 (University of Venda). She is now permanently employed as a Lecturer at the Department of Food Science and Technology (2017 to date). She teaches Cereal

  • Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology ,China
  • Title:Agricultural Intensification and Damages to Human Health in Relation to Agrochemicals: Application of Artificial Intelligence
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Abstract:

The indiscriminate use of agrochemicals for the maximization of the crop yield has adverse effects on the air, water, soil, non-target organisms, and human health. Reducing the impacts of agrochemicals on the environment and human health is instrumental for agricultural sustainability and cleaner production. To date, limited studies have focused on the issues of rice intensification, realistic agrochemical-saving targets, human health concerns associated with agrochemical use, and protective measures that may help to reduce occupational exposure during pesticide application. Cross-sectional data of 360 rice growers were collected from September to October 2017 from 9 districts of Punjab, Pakistan using multistage sampling techniques. A combination of descriptive statistics and econometric methods was used in this study. The results found a 60% rice efficiency, which is evidence that farm resources were not utilized at the optimal level. An artificial neural network method (ANN) was suggested to reduce the quantity of pesticides and pure N by 45.2 and 37.2%, respectively, at a given level of rice yield. However, pure P, pure K, zinc, and farm yard manure (FYM) were recommended to increase by 490.9, 18.4, 64.7, and 32.6%, respectively than existing level. The results of the Cobb-Douglas (CD) production function found positive significant impacts of pure P, pure K, zinc, and FYM on the rice yield. According to a Tobit regression model, the rice efficiency significantly increased with education and farming experience, while it decreased with increasing crop area under rice cultivation and the distance among rice plots. Pesticide application caused skin irritation, eye irritation, cough, dizziness, nausea, and diarrhoea in 33, 41.7, 38, 30.5, 27.5, and 12% of the population, respectively. A few cases of death (3%) and serious illness (10%) due to drinking pesticides intentionally or unintentionally were also discovered. A Poisson regression model confirmed that pesticide poisoning significantly increased the incidence of eye irritation, skin irritation, dizziness, cough, and nausea during pesticide application. Moreover, cases of occupational health exposure were significantly higher among those who did not adopt protective measures. A negative binomial regression suggested that the use of protective measures, such as protective clothes, goggles, mask, gloves and boots, during chemical application significantly reduced the risk to human health. A lack of education and awareness about the appropriate and safe use of agrochemicals are the main reasons for the overutilization of pesticides and for the negative consequences on human health. This study stresses the importance of using agrochemicals at the recommended level and instead using bio-chemicals for agricultural sustainability and to protect human health. Moreover, the use of pesticide protective measures is highly recommended to avoid respiratory and dermal exposure to pesticides.

Biography:

Ehsan Elahi has completed his PhD at the age of 27 years from China Agricultural University and working at School of Business, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology. He has published more than 25 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as an editorial board member in some journals.

  • Stanford University School of Medicine, USA
  • Title:Encyclopedia of Bioanalytical Methods for Bioavailability and Bioequivalence Studies of PharmaceuticalB
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Abstract:

Encyclopedia of Bioanalytical Methods for Bioavailability and Bioequivalence Studies of Pharmaceuticals (E-BABE): It is a unique encyclopedia involving bioanalytical methods for bioavailability and bioequivalence (BA/BE) studies of pharmaceuticals for suitable method selection with thousands of combinations and searches against these methods. Most scrutinized literature was collected from different sources including PubMed. This database has been curetted using published methods for all most all pharmaceuticals. Required information for regular method development/validation such as IUPAC name, structure, solubility, chromatographic conditions, instrumentation information like HPLC, LCMS detection parameters, sample preparations, recovery details, limit of detection and limit of quantification, Tmax, Cmax etc., for routine application in BA/BE studies of pharmaceuticals was incorporated including official pharmacopeias information such as European Pharmacopeia, Japan Pharmacopeia and US Pharmacopeia. Database includes drug based bioanalytical methods covering most required fields and external database links of important drug portals such as drug bank, Rxlist, MEDLINE plus, KEGG Drug ID, KEGG Compound ID, Merck manual, PubChem compound ID, PubChem substance ID and USFDA. Searching/querying the database is through drug name, chemical formula or structural search by smiles format. Keen selections of bioanalytical methods for pharmaceutical analysis or regular quality control are also possible with E-BABE. E-BABE was built understanding the needs of pharmaceutical industry and laboratories including CROs working on BA/BE studies. Presently it has nearly of 5,000 methods and it will be updated regularly. (Up to 250 words)

Biography:

Dr. Daniel Tang Kuok Ho obtained his PhD (Safety) from the University of Malaya, MSc in Environmental Engineering from the University of Nottingham (UK) and BSc in Chemistry and Biology from Campbell University (USA). He has also obtained Certificate IV in Training and Assessment awarded by GippsTAFE Australia and Advanced Diploma of Ministry by Christian Leaders Institute. Dr. Daniel is registered as a Chartered Energy Engineer with the Energy Institute, UK. He is also an EIA consultant registered with both the State and Federal environmental agencies and has accumulated vast experience in environmental research and projects.

  • Indian Agricultural Research Institute, India
  • Title:Development of a DSS (Decision Support System) for Designing Micro Irrigation Systems
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Abstract:

Micro irrigation is one of the latest innovations in irrigation which provides for precise water application in agriculture. A Decision Support System- for designing efficient Micro Irrigation Systems namely DSS-DOMIS was developed for designing Drip Irrigation, Sprinkler Irrigation and Micro sprinkler irrigation systems .As a part of the decision support mechanism, the DSS provides expert opinion and necessary data on crops, soil, water and climate as default options with a provision of change if the user so desires. DSS-DOMIS suggests most optimal lay out plans for main, sub-main and lateral pipes under a microirrigtion sysem. It determines the appropriate sizes of different components including main, sub main and lateral pipes, pumping system, filters and fertilizer application systems.
In the DSS standard procedures are adopted for estimation of water requirements of plants based on the agro climatic data, possible shifts per day and available total time of irrigation. The developed DSS has been seamlessly integrated into a user-friendly interface implemented in the open source programming languages i.e PHP, MySQL. It runs in Apache server uses rich database with information on crops, soil climatic data, micro irrigation equipment’s as well as, source and quality of water. The web based system, developed on scientifically accepted software algorithms with richness of information and expert opinions, flexibility and simplicity of use make the DSS DOMIS a superior tool for designing micro irrigation systems with a view to enhance water productivity in agriculture The developed DSS was tested by 22 Precision Farming Development Centres in the country for their local soil-crop-water-climate conditions. The DSS has received over 10,000 hits on the internet in the last eleven months. The paper presents the methodology of its development and its use through a real field situation. It is hoped that the DSS namely, DOMIS will be useful for farmers, syse installation industry, researchers and policy makers.

Biography:

Dr. T B S Rajput has over forty years of experience of research and post graduate teaching in the field of Soil and Water Conservation Engineering. He is a former Project Director and a scientist of national repute. He has published ten books and more than 200 research articles. He has developed seven computer softwares on different aspects of agricultural water management. Besides research, he has supervised more than twenty post graduate researches. He was adjudged as the Best teacher and has also received many honours and awards including the highest research award in India namely, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award. He is a fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences and six other National Scientific Societies in the country.

  • Cornell University, USA
  • Title:How the Changing Structure of Agriculture Affects Rural Communities
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Abstract:

This paper examines the community-level impacts of changes in the structure of agriculture, and how agriculture’s role in community organization has changed over time. While agriculture’s declining share of local and national employment and family income is well known, less is known about the interactions between changes in the organization of agriculture and the transformation of rural society. In this paper I use a food systems perspective to examine several aspects of the link between community and agricultural structures. In each instance, changes in the structure of agriculture are occurring simultaneously with large-scale societal transformations such as sectoral changes in the economy, urbanization of the countryside, and changes in family organization. In particular, I discuss: (a) the association between the concentration of agriculture and civic engagement, local democracy and community governance; (b) the potential environmental hazards associated with concentrated agricultural feeding organizations (CAFO); off-farm work and changing family organization; and (d) how community food systems contribute to social integration of the urban-rural interface.

Biography:

David L. Brown is International Professor of Development Sociology, Emeritus at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Professor Brown is a social demographer whose research focuses on migration and population redistribution in the US and Europe with a particular focus on how migration and population change affect, and are affected by, local community organization. His work also examines population ageing, the social organization of the urban-rural interface, the production and reproduction of social and economic inequalities between regions and rural vs. urban areas, and policies to ameliorate such inequalities. His current research is funded by the USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). His recent books include: Rural Communities in the 21st Century: Resilience and Transformation (Polity, 2011; second edition 2019) (with Kai Schafft), The International Handbook of Rural Studies (Routledge 2016) (co-edited with Mark Shucksmith), Rural Transformations and Rural Policies in the UK and US (Routledge, 2012) (co-edited with Shucksmith, Shortall and others), Rural Retirement Migration (Springer, 2008) (with Nina Glasgow), Population Change and Rural Society (Springer, 2006) (co-edited with William Kandel). Among other recognition, he received the Distinguished Rural Sociologist award from the Rural Sociological Society; is past president of the Rural Sociological Society; is past chair of the American Sociological Association’s Section on the Sociology of Development; received the Chancellor’s Award for Sustained Professional Service from the State University of New York, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Rousse University in Bulgaria in 2007 recognizing his contributions to that university’s rural and regional development educational programs.

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