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Faculty of Agricultural and Life Sciences

The Faculty of Agricultural and Life Sciences (FAGRO) at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) is ranked among the top colleges of agricultural sciences in Brazil. Its excellence in teaching, research and outreach in agriculture is recognized at both national and international levels. FAGRO has 80 highly qualified faculty members teaching undergraduate and graduate courses with the support of a team of 86 administrative and technical staff members.

Historical developments

The origins of FAGRO date back to 1895, when the Taquariense School of Agronomy was founded. After the graduation of six agronomists in 1897, the school was unfortunately closed due to financial problems. In 1911, a new building was constructed and the course was reinstated. The first class was able to graduate in 1914. In 1917, in honor of its greatest benefactor, the Institute was renamed to Borges de Medeiros Institute. The Institute became part of the University of Porto Alegre that was created in 1934, and then was named the College of Agronomy and Veterinary Studies. Later, in 1950, when University of Rio Grande do Sul was federalized and founded, the School changed its name to the Faculty of Agronomy and Veterinary in 1959. In 1970, after the university was restructured, the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences was created and the name Faculty of Agricultural and Life Sciences was adopted since then.

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Organizational and physical structure

FAGRO is based at the Agronomia Campus, nearby the Vale Campus of UFRGS. It is composed of an administrative sector, located at the recently restored “Central Building,” first built in 1911, and by six academic departments located in the campus where teaching, research and extension activities in various specialized fields of crop and husbandry production are conducted in laboratory and greenhouse facilities. Field research is conducted at the Agronomic Experimental Station which is located 70 km away from the main campus and has a total area 1,560 hectares. Approximately 20 buses and vans offer students an opportunity to travel around the state for field trips, and a modernized library and computer laboratory provide students an opportunity to get access to information.

The six academic departments (and respective fields of study) are: Animal Science (nutrition, reproduction and breeding of poultry, beef and dairy cattle, swine, sheep and fishery); Field Crops (plant breeding and management of field crops - corn, wheat, oat, soybean, rice, tobacco, barley, potato, bean, rye, sunflower and sorghum - agricultural economics, planning, alternative production systems and weed science; Plant Protection (plant pathology, entomology, parasitology, agro-ecology and apiculture); Forage Crops and Agricultural Meteorology (forage production and breeding, micrometeorology, climatology, crop physiology and remote sensing); Horticulture and Forestry (management and breeding of horticultural and ornamental crops and forestry); Soil Science (pedology, soil chemistry and fertility, soil and water conservation and management, soil biology and biochemistry, land use and agricultural mechanization).

Academic programs

At the undergraduate level, a major in Agricultural and Life Sciences is offered to an average number of 450 students enrolled in over 135 courses in the current curricula, where students may opt to specialize in plant production, animal science or agro-ecology. A major in Animal Science is being developed and will soon be offered. At the graduate level, four programs are currently offered: Business of Agriculture, Soil Science, Animal Science and Crop Science. These programs are home to 28 research groups (certified by the Federal Research Council) and are composed of professors, post doctorates, students and research assistants that receive scholarships and fellowships from Brazilian funding agencies. Since 1965, over 1450 M.Sc. and 400 Ph.D. degrees were granted.

International relations

Faculty members at FAGRO who are active in international collaborative research usually provide students opportunities for study and research work abroad. Formally, there are 10 cooperation agreements with renowned institutes from countries in Latin and North America, Europe and Africa, which provide internships abroad. For instance, a current Capes-Fipse program is underway since 2008 and five students have spent one semester abroad in the University of Florida or at Texas Tech University so far. In return, FAGRO is host to an increasing number of foreign students from the United States, Portugal, Argentina, Angola, Mozambique, Paraguay and Belgium.

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Contacts:

FACULDADE DE AGRONOMIA

Avenida Bento Gonçalves, 7712

Porto Alegre, RS

91.540-000

Brasil

Phone: +55 51 3308-6002

e-mail: fagro@ufrgs.br

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul

Av. Paulo Gama, 110 - Bairro Farroupilha - Porto Alegre - Rio Grande do Sul
CEP: 90040-060 - Fone: +55 51 33086000