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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Israel Trip to Further Ag Technology/Collaboration with Ohio

January 30, 2008

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A group of Ohio agriculture professionals, from farmers to Ohio State University experts, will be taking a trip to Israel in February to build relations and learn more about the country's ag industry and how it could benefit Ohio.


"The Ohio Agricultural Trade and Education Mission to Israel" will take place Feb. 9-20, and is sponsored by the Ohio Farm Bureau and The Negev Foundation. The Negev Foundation is a Cleveland-based organization dedicated to improving agricultural trade and research and development ties between Ohio and Israel by working with government, academic and business entities, and growers in both regions.

Sixty-three Ohioans from 21 counties will participate in the tour. Participants include representatives from various agriculture sectors, such as grains, dairy, livestock, fruits and vegetables, the green industry and aquaculture. Participants from Ohio State University include Keith Smith, director of OSU Extension, and Steve Slack, director of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Both Smith and Slack hope to gain a better understanding of Israel's agriculture, and how the university's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences can get more involved by furthering collaborations with The Negev Foundation.

"The Negev Foundation has been supporting both trade exchanges, as well as research collaborations between Ohio and Israel. I have been working with them on research connections and hope to further some of these opportunities," said Slack. "We will be visiting the Volcani Institute, which supports excellent agricultural research, as part of the visit."

Other stops on the tour include visits with Israeli farmers, agricultural communities, and agriculture government officials to discuss and view first-hand the advanced technologies being used in Israeli agriculture. Mission members will also participate in tours focused on agricultural sectors, including dairy, cattle, field crops, cut flowers, ornamentals, greenhouse agriculture, irrigation, wine making, organic agriculture, and desert agriculture.

"I'm fascinated with the ag technology that is being utilized in Israel," said Smith. "I hope to come away with ideas for future partnership possibilities in this area, as well as in the area of process skills."

Israel, a country about one quarter the size of Ohio but with a population of 7 million, provides unique opportunities in high-tech agriculture to Ohio, said Sarah Horowitz, program director of Ohio-Israel Initiative of The Negev Foundation.

"The mission will foster an exchange of information between Ohio and Israeli farmers," said Horowitz.

For more information, contact Horowitz at (216) 691-9997 or e-mail

Candace Pollock
Keith Smith, Steve Slack