Rebecca Nelson is one of Cornell’s ~60 official “international professors.” She co-teaches an introductory course in International Agriculture and Rural Development: IARD 202 (formerly IARD 300), entitled “Perspectives in International Agriculture and Rural Development.” Her co-professors are Bob Herdt, a development economist, and Larry Harrington, a natural resource economist. The course is offered in Fall semesters. Starting in 2008, it will be offered for 3 credits. Course description:
The course is designed to enable students to gain an understanding of major issues in international agricultural development. We will look at the big issues; characterize the state of agriculture and rural development in various developing countries; analyze some of the major challenges faced from socioeconomic and biophysical perspectives; and learn about ways forward towards improving the productivity and sustainability of agricultural systems, and reducing poverty, hunger and malnutrition through agricultural development. Each student will choose a focus country and examine the relevance of ideas, projects and approaches arising from class material for that country. By the end of the semester, students will have an appreciation of various perspectives on problems, challenges and potential solutions and how well they might apply to their focus country.