What “Friends of UKZN Agriculture” is all about
“Friends of UKZN Agriculture” is network of people and organisations affiliated to UKZN’s School of Agricultural, Earth & Environmental Sciences (and its antecedent institutions) that exists to promote, establish and foster mutually beneficial relationships between SAEES, alumni of the university and agribusinesses. The need for this “relationship-catalyst” was mooted by alumni of the university who realized that some of SAEES’s inter-organisational agribusiness networks had suffered as a consequence of considerable change at UKZN, and in the KZN agricultural community in general. SAEES academics and management embraced the idea, and following a six month period of brainstorming and planning by the founding committee, “Friends of UKZN Agriculture” was launched on the 25th of May 2012 at a function attended by 150 people at the Royal Show in Pietermaritzburg.
In October 2012 Friends of UKZN Agriculture hired a Networking Facilitator, Lisa Thompson. Lisa held the position for a year and achieved a great deal in connecting with alumni and agribusinesses. In November 2013, upon Lisa’s resignation, the committee appointed Christine Cuénod as Networking Facilitator to continue Lisa’s work.
Christine is based in Room 1 in the Rabie Saunders Building on the UKZN Agric Campus. If you would like to join the Friends of UKZN Agriculture network, please contact her at Cuenod@ukzn.ac.za. By joining this network, you will receive updates on SAEES, as well as advertisements for seminars, continued professional development short courses, graduate presentation days and other networking events. Please contact Christine if you wish to establish and grow your relationship with SAEES, for example by initiating contract research, head-hunting top students, hosting student interns, advertising vacancies for graduates, hosting a field trip for students and addressing the scarcity of specialized agricultural skills in your line of work.