DSU is a partner in trade grant
It may be a fact in the business world that it's not what you know but who you know. Universities, though, tend to stress the what-you-know part. With assistance from a trade grant, Dickinson State University is hoping to have success using both ...
It may be a fact in the business world that it's not what you know but who you know.
Universities, though, tend to stress the what-you-know part.
With assistance from a trade grant, Dickinson State University is hoping to have success using both types of knowledge.
"(The grant) demonstrates how higher education can have a direct and significant impact on economic development," DSU President Dr. Lee Vickers said.
The $129,000 grant is a partnership between the North Dakota Trade Office, the United States Commercial Service, the National Agricultural University of Ukraine, North Dakota manufacturers, North Dakota State College of Science and DSU.
"Dickinson State has introduced North Dakota to the National Agricultural University Ukraine," NDTO Development Director Cherie Harms said. "What we're hoping is to cultivate relationships for positions for North Dakota students."
DSU has had a relationship with the Ukrainian institution since former agriculture department Chair Dr. Gary White helped set up a partnership. White worked with the university at a previous position at Iowa State University.
"There is significant opportunity to establish contacts there and to increase North Dakota's involvement in international trade," Vickers said. "We play a part in that."
Vickers said through DSU's relationship with the Ukrainian university, DSU students from Russia recently served as interpreters for Ukrainians at an agricultural machinery trade show in Fargo.
"Here's a case where higher ed was directly involved in helping to stimulate economic development," Vickers said. "It's a win-win situation for all concerned."
Vickers said the opportunities are nearly endless now that an official relationship has been established through the grant.
"This is really bigger than DSU and (NDSCS), because there are also other opportunities," Vickers said. "There are opportunities outside the area of agriculture for North Dakota citizens who want to become engaged in international trade with people in the Ukraine."
Through the grant, the National Agricultural University of Ukraine offered office space for an employee on campus, storage space for farm machinery and assistance in marketing North Dakota machinery across the country.
Vickers said the hope is through these agricultural partnerships, North Dakota's visibility will spell more partnerships with the former Soviet country.
"They're very interested in North Dakota because we have similar growing seasons, similar soils, similar crops, so it's a natural fit," Vickers said.
Harms said the trade office has already hired an individual to fill the office space in the Ukraine. She said the North Dakota Trade Office has worked with Sergiy Polovenko in the past when he was with the U.S. government's Business Information Service for the Newly Independent States.
"BISNIS has been around for 10-15 years, since the break up of the Soviet Union," Harms said. "They pretty much fulfilled their purpose and that program was dissolved."
She said when the trade office learned Polovenko was out of a job, it seized him immediately.
"We actually hired him even before we knew we got the grant because we knew we were committed to working in that area," Harms said.
Harms said Polovenko starts next week with a tour of North Dakota's manufacturing facilities and will be in Dickinson in the first days of November. From there, he'll do some paperwork in Washington, D.C., before heading to his new office.