UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO, MAYAGÜEZ
The College of Agricultural Sciences offers nine master’s programs. The study plan is completely designed according to the student’s specialty or area of interest. The Tropical Agriculture Research Station at Mayaguez, Puerto Rico is one of three tropical/subtropical research centers of the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service and is supported by annual appropriations from the U. S. Congress. It is under the auspices of the ARS, South Atlantic Area, Athens, Georgia.
The Tropical Agriculture Research Station (TARS) conducts research to develop solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority.
Fusion Farms has partnered with Dr. Rene Estevez and his colleague, Professor Luis R. Mejia-Maymi at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez to assist with the design and operation of the Aquaponic system. Professor Mejia-Maymi has also brought in Dr. Luis Perez Alegria who is the head of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. Dr. Alegria is a specialist in anaerobic digesters for energy production.
Dr. Rene Esteves, Ph.D.
Rene Esteves, Ph.D. is currently serving a dual role as the Extension Leader for the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Sea Grant College Program and as the Aquaculture Specialist for the UPR Agricultural Extension Service. Previously he’s served as Puerto Rico’s Fisheries Liaison for the National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Dr. Esteves is a coral reef fish ecologist whose research interests have focused on larval connectivity of commercially important fish species, changes to coral reef fish community structure due to disturbances and fisheries independent assessments. His double role in the UPR is in part meant to strengthen informal education in small sustainable recirculating aquaculture projects that would both increase food security and offer alternative income for low-income rural coastal communities.
Prof. Luis R. Mejía Maymí
Prof. Luis R. Mejía Maymí is the Auxiliary Dean for New Center for Agribusiness Development (NuCeDA) Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. In August 2009, the Board of the College of Agricultural Sciences (Dean-Director, Associate Deans, Director of International Programs and Director of the Office of Planning and Budget); approved the creation of the New Center for Agribusiness Development (NuCeDA). This was officially inaugurated on Thursday, November 12, 2009, in the Office # 306, of Building C, of the old dormitories of the Campus.
NuCeDA is a workspace assigned to the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology of the College of Agricultural Sciences; that making use of teaching and research, will make more effective the management of preparing agribusinesses and agribusinesses, in skills that contribute to the development of sustainable agriculture. Among other matters, the Center facilitates the allocation of human and physical resources, in an integrated department, with teaching and non-teaching staff, working in the three units of the CCA – Faculty, Agricultural Experimental Station and Agricultural Extension Service. The interaction between the three units mentioned includes the participation of graduate students, who learn by doing while working in the SEA.
Agriculture is a business that develops in a competitive market system, in which success is measured to a large extent, based on the maximization of profit. To achieve this goal we must recognize that knowledge about technical aspects of crop or animal production is not a sufficient condition for the farm to make a profit. Education in managerial aspects of agriculture or agricultural business is essential to promote the development of competitive agricultural and agro-industrial enterprises. The management that is being done, through NuCeDA, sharing information and knowledge with farmers and potential farmers, is of greater importance when we recognize that the operation of an agricultural business is somewhat different from that of other types of companies.
The contributions of both Dr. Rene Esteves and Prof. Luis R. Mejía Maymí include organizing internships with Fusion Farms for students enrolled in the UPR programs listed above.