SUA in Nitra celebrated its 65th anniversary

by Veronika Straussová

The Slovak University of Agriculture celebrated its 65th anniversary on the 10th October 2017. Many guests, both from Slovakia and from abroad, accepted the invitation to participate in the activities marking this important event.

Prominent domestic and foreign public figures representing academic, economic and social life were present, among whom there were Chairman of the Nitra Self-governing Region Milan Belica, Chairman of the SUA Board of Trustees and Mayor of Nitra Jozef Dvonč, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Gabriela Matečná, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Robert Fico, former President of the Slovak Republic, Ivan Gašparovič, and many others.

The ceremony was opened by the SUA Rector Dr.h.c. Ing. Peter Bielik, PhD who stressed the contribution of the university in relation to the way the knowledge and competences acquired at the university are being applied in practice and he also presented new goals and challenges to tackle in the future.

The SUA in Nitra Rector Dr.h.c. Ing. Peter Bielik, PhD. also emphasized that SUA became an  important and well-respected part of agricultural practice and intercultural background of the Slovak agriculture: „"As an educational and scientific research oriented institution, the university has been involved from the very beginning in acquisition and application of the latest knowledge what is subsequently being reflected on the educational profile of the graduates. Our experts have developed many new crop varieties, new plant cultivation techniques, new multicomponent fertilizers irrigation optimization, introduced new scientific methods of animal nutrition, carried out genetic research, worked on the development of the new agricultural techniques, and also resolved many economic issues“. The SUA in Nitra Rector Dr.h.c. Ing. Peter Bielik, PhD. also mentioned the various political and socio-economic changes as well as changes in the quality of life and in the criteria of values that happened during the last 65 years. The SUA Rector also emphasized that the university educates not only graduates for agricultural large-scale production and high concentrations of animals, but also for family business and farming. As the SUA Rector has said, the university is intensively working on important tasks that will benefit the development of the country - modern molecular and biotechnological processes are being developed and a complex set of issues related to changing environmental conditions and the potential impacts of climate change on agriculture is being researched: "Several departments of our university have gained the status of centers of excellence and top scientific teams have received an accreditation. Just two years ago, in October 2015, the AgroBioTech Research Center was opened. It integrates applied research and offers space for innovative research in the field of agrobiology, biotechnology and technology in agriculture, food and bioenergy, not only in terms of domestic but also international engagement. The wide range of current activities demonstrates our flexibility and adaptability to new conditions."

The ceremony was also an opportunity to appraise and award the figures of Slovak political and public life, academic and scientific environment, as well as SUA partners who have made a significant contribution to the development of the university and who represent it both at home and abroad.

The SUA´s in Nitra Commemorative Medal was awarded to Chairman of the Nitra Self-governing Region Milan Belica, Chairman of the SUA Board of Trustees and Mayor of Nitra Jozef Dvonč, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Gabriela Matečná, Prime Minister Róbert Fico, former President of the Slovak Republic Ivan Gašparovič, to the first graduates of the Agricultural University who graduated in Nitra in 1952- doc. Pavol Bajči who was a long-time pedagogue and the founder of VŠP; Ing. Dorota Pospíšilová who is a world-renowned breeder of grape varieties in Slovakia, the author of the most famous Slovak varieties Dunaj and Devin- and who cultivated 24 new recognized grape varieties; Ján Plesník- academician and founder and long-time director of the Animal Breeding Research Institute in Lužianky; Juraj Hraško- academician who is also a founder and long-time director of the Research Institute for Soil Science and Plant Nutrition. The SUA´s in Nitra Commemorative Medal was also awarded to several institutions- Slovak Academy of Sciences, National Agricultural and Food Centre, Agrokomplex, Agroinstitute as well as to other partner universities in Slovakia and aborad.

Representing the SUA in Nitra graduates, prof. Jozef Bulla gave a speech. Subsequently, the rectors of partner Slovak and foreign universities each gave their speech, including the Rector of the Technical University in Zvolen and the President of the Slovak Rector's Conference prof. Rudolf Kropil, Rector of the Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University in Ukraine prof. Anatolii Danylenko, Rector of the Stavropol State Agrarian University prof. Vladimir Trukhachev, Rector of the Karelia University of Applied Sciences in Finland prof. Petri Raivo, as well as a member of the Slovak Academy of Sciences chairmanship Ing. Maria Omastová and Agrokomplex Director Mário Dinga.

The ceremony was enriched by the singing performance of the SUA graduate Kristina Uhlíková accompained by Juraj Janík who was playing the piano. The ceremony was concluded by the performance of  the folk ensemble ZOBOR.

The program of celebrations in the afternoon continued with the Academic  Gerden Celebration. Celebrations were also the occasion for meetings of experts from both domestic and foreign universities. On Wednesday, 11th October, an accompanying professional program was prepared at the AgroBioTech Research Center and on Thursday, 12th October- Technology Day at the SUA agricultural holding in Kolíňany took place.

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