Extension Educator Visits China on Trade Mission
Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012
Dallas Hanks, director of Utah State University Extension's Center for Agronomic and Woody Biofuels, is seen in an official portrait with Director in General Zhang in the education office at Golmud, China. (photo courtesy Dallas Hanks)
Hanks (second from left) was part of a trade mission to China that included Rep. Eric Hutchings from the Utah House of Representatives (District 38) and Bill Jiang of the University of Utah. (photo courtesy Dallas Hanks)
Dallas Hanks, director of Utah State University Extension’s Center for Agronomic and Woody Biofuels (CAWB), recently returned from a trade mission to China. He travelled with Rep. Eric Hutchings from the Utah House of Representatives (District 38) and Bill Jiang of the University of Utah.
The group’s purpose was to see how Utah and USU could help the people of Golmud, China, the largest geographical city in the world, in the areas of mining, environmental issues and food and energy production.
“China is building infrastructure at an amazing rate,” Hanks said. “They have so many things that need doing and could use assistance from other countries in meeting those future needs. They have a good start and a drive to get there, and I believe we need to help with what we know so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel on several things.”
The group met with several business and government leaders while on the trade mission, including the mayor of Golmud, the president of Beijing Jiatong University and mining company CEOs.
China’s interest in utilizing biomass and biofuels in China equals or exceeds that of the United States, according to Hanks. The area where he believes USU could contribute the most is the research and implementation of agronomic science and technology.
“China’s agricultural model is very different than what we have here in the United States,” he said. “I believe it is widely accepted that the U.S. has the best agronomic model and technology in the world. It was apparent that China could utilize information from these sources to increase food production in their country. I immediately saw opportunities to implement technologies developed under CAWB in China for renewable energy production.”
Hanks also saw things he would like to see implemented in the United States that China is already doing, one of which is placing solar panels on street lights.
“I was impressed at the size of expansion and building China is going through,” he said. “I was also impressed at how hard they are working to become a more developed place.”
Contact: Dallas Hanks, (801) 468-3184, Dallas.Hanks@usu.edu
Writer: Casey Saxton, Extension public relations assistant, 435-797-0810, Casey.Saxton@usu.edu