InnovATE News

How Can Agricultural Education and Training Better Reach Women?

In December 2015, InnovATE wrapped up another blog series with Agrilinks focused on gender. This series, centered on identifying and eliminating gender-barriers in agriculture education and training (AET), was summarized by Laura Ostenso, Knowledge Management Specialist for Agrilinks with the following:

By examining gender-specific barriers to women’s participation in AET programs and institutions in countries around the world, InnovATE charted pathways to success for women’s participation in agricultural education. This increased education opportunity translates into developing high quality workers and scholars dedicated to global issues like hunger and poverty. Continue reading >

Studying Entrepreneurial, Place-Based Curriculum Success in Nicaragua


This photo was taken on the return trip from the Center for Agroforestry and Environmental Education in Wawashang, Nicaragua. Photo credit: Henry Quesada-Pineda for InnovATE

You have to take a boat to get to the remote 300-hectare farm in Wawashang, Nicaragua where the agroforestry education and training centers of the Foundation for the Autonomy and Development of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua (FADCANIC) are located. But the rural location is part of what makes the programs unique, according to John Ignosh, area extension specialist and member of Virginia Tech’s biological systems engineering department. With funding from the Feed the Future project, Innovation for Agricultural Training and Education (InnovATE), Ignosh and Virginia Tech’s Henry Quesada-Pineda, associate professor in the sustainable biomaterials department, visited FADCANIC in October to study its highly successful entrepreneurial, place-based agroforestry and agricultural curricula.

Quesada-Pineda was a member of a 2014 InnovATE scoping team that assessed the agricultural education and training systems in Nicaragua. One recommendation of the assessment was to develop a case study on successful vocational programs for entrepreneurship to address youth unemployment in the Atlantic Coast region. FADCANIC’s successful agroforestry programs were the perfect subject for the case study. Continue reading >

InnovATE Leads Place-Based STEM Education Workshop in Malawi

Malawi STEM EducationWorkshop

Dr. George Glasson, far left, explains an active learning exercise.

September 28-30, 2015 InnovATE led a workshop in partnership with Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) and USAID/Malawi on place-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education for university professors, administrators, and ministry officials in Lilongwe, Malawi. The workshop promoted the development of a STEM Education Certificate for secondary school agriculture and science teachers.

Continue reading >

InnovATE Staff Attend APLU Capacity Development “Deep Dive”

Dr. Keith Moore, Director of InnovATE, and Johanna Cricenti, Program Manager of InnovATE, attended the Association for Public Land Grant Universities’ (AHICDPLU) workshop, “Institutional Performance Improvement in Practice: A Deep Dive into the HICD Methodology” September 24-25, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The workshop provided an overview of USAID’s human and institutional capacity development (HICD) framework and its basis in human performance technology. Participants also received practical advice on how to incorporate the framework into international projects. A round-table discussion provided an opportunity to share experiences and explore possibilities for collaboration between universities and other development partners.