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CALS enters new research partnership with multinational animal health company

As Latin American agribusiness professionals gathered in Raleigh in early August for the first Symposium on Emerging Issues in Poultry Nutrition and Meat Production, N.C. State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences officially entered a groundbreaking research partnership with a multinational animal health company.

Representatives of Ilender, a 23-year-old Peruvian company that develops and markets products for poultry and livestock health, joined with N.C. State University faculty members and administrators on Aug. 2 at the Hunt Library on Centennial Campus to sign a research agreement aimed at, among other things, exploring the commercial potential of plants found in Peru’s rainforest and providing for educational exchanges for students in the U.S. and in Peru.

Signing the agreement from N.C. State were CALS Dean Richard Linton; Dr. Mike Williams, interim head of N.C. State’s Prestage Poultry Science Department; and Dr. Peter Ferket, William Neal Reynolds Professor of Poultry Science, Nutrition and Biotechnology.

From Ilender were Antonio Armejo, president; William Serna, general manager; and Sergio Gamio, vice president of development.

The agreement extends a decades-old tradition N.C. State has had in providing agricultural development assistance to Peruvian  universities, farmers, businesses and government officials. Gamio said that the partnership will be a socially responsible one, potentially creating jobs in the impoverished communities in Peru’s rainforest by finding and commercializing plant-based products that help individual farmers and agribusiness address economically important animal health issues.

Gamio said that Ilender is particularly interested in finding and developing alternatives to antibiotics used in the poultry industry.

College leaders think that the partnership will be a mutually beneficial one, creating new opportunities for students and generating knowledge with broad implications, Ferket said.

It also will help address important global issues and strengthen CALS’ international programs − both goals in keeping with the College’s new strategic plan.

As Linton said, “In the last year since I’ve been dean, we have focused on trying to recognize and understand how our College and our departments are going to meet the grand challenges of the future, and some of the words that came out of those discussions were partnership and collaboration and international programs and addressing global issues and forming new and enhanced partnerships.

“So as we celebrate the signing of this (memorandum of understanding) with Ilender,” he added, “we also celebrate some success of the College and department as we head to the future with our strategic mission and vision.”

— Dee Shore