For a Chinese company to succeed on a global scale, its employees need intensive English language and management training — and an extension system. So Longping High Tech Agriculture is partnering with ISU Extension to create a company-based learning program to meet these needs.
Eight Longping employees traveled to Iowa State University this summer for two months of American English, manufacturing process analysis and farm and agribusiness site visits. But, “what struck them was the ISU Extension system,” said Sok-Leng Tan, with ISU Extension’s global programs.
Longping High Tech Agriculture is a leading seed company in China, specializing in hybrid rice. The eight employees represented different areas within the company, including human resources, sales, finance and international business.
“They can use extension concepts in providing service and expertise to their clients,” said Darwin Miller, ISU Extension education director in Hardin County.
Miller, who spent some time with the Longping group, said, “I explained how county extension offices operate and the relationship between county directors and field specialists. They were intrigued by the election of nine extension council members in each county, how they govern extension and the fact that they serve as unpaid volunteers. I also explained the organizational chart for ISU Extension and how they could apply the concepts to their company structure.”
Miller took the delegation to a Prairieland Cooperative grain terminal and distribution center, where they learned about the business relationship between the cooperative and independent farmers.
At a grain and pork farm, “they were impressed by the large number of consistent animals in the facility and the mechanization,” Miller said.
“They want to come back,” Tan added. Longping will send a new cohort to participate in the training program, and this first group is looking forward to additional training.
The Longping group also was introduced to ISU Extension’s 4-H program, Tan said. “They were intrigued with the idea of building youth leadership.”
She expects to head to China in December with Mary Holz-Clause, ISU Extension interim associate vice president, and Brenda Allen, an ISU Extension 4-H youth development specialist. They hope to expand collaboration with Longping in several areas, including 4-H youth leadership.
For more information, contact Tan at firstname.lastname@example.org.