Auksuciai Agricultural Development Conference
July 14 - 16, 2004

The Public Was Invited

Lithuanian and American farmers, educators, and governmental representatives including Vygaudas Usackas Lithuanian Ambassador to the U.S. participated in a Farm Field Day and Conference July 15-16, 2004 targeted toward building a stronger Lithuanian agriculture. The program was sponsored by the Auksuciai Foundation- U.S. and the Auksuciai Farm and Forest Center- Lithuania, the Lithuanian University of Agriculture, Siauliai University, University of California- Davis, Ministry of Agriculture, and the U.S. Embassy, Lithuania. Activities took place at the Auksuciai Farm and Forest Center site near Kursenai and on campus of Siauliai University in Siauliai.

Center Director, Larry Clement opened the Auksuciai Center Field Day explaining that the farm is divided into two divisions, one for the commercial operations and the other for research and education activities. He noted that the farm's activity differed from the agricultural research carried on by the Lithuanian University of Agriculture and the Agricultural Research Institutes in that it focuses on research that can be directly utilized by the farmer. He discussed how modification of traditional cultivation practices, reduced use of chemical fertilizers and herbicides, and the use of integrated pest management practices to reduce the use of pesticides all require the use of less labor and energy resources and could result in greater economic gain by the farmer. After a question and answer session the participants were taken on a tour of the various research plots, shown examples of new crops and new varieties of crops and given suggestions on how they might perform in the local farming systems.

Following lunch at the farm, the participants traveled to Siauliai University to take part in the Auksuciai Agricultural Development Conference held the afternoon of the 15th and the morning of the 16th. This program involved Lithuanian and American university research scientists, representatives of the Lithuanian Ministry of agriculture, Lithuanian farm organizations, and agricultural business representatives. The program focused on an update of the economic status of Lithuanian agriculture, the impact of involvement in the European Union, how to encourage the development and marketing of new crops, utilizing farmer associations and cooperatives, building markets for existing crops and crops best suited to small farming enterprises. Special attention was given to projects that should be given top priority in research activity at the Auksuciai Farm and Forest Center. Dr Calvin Qualset, Director of International Relations for the Auksuciai Foundation and Dr Algirdas Radzevicius, Head of Research Division Lithuanian University of Agriculture served as key organizers of the two day session. A summary of the proceedings will be available in both Lithuanian and English.

Conference attendees observing vegtable test plots.

The Auksuciai Farm and Forest Center was incorporated as a Lithuanian nonprofit corporation in September of 2002. Its board of directors is composed equally Lithuanians and Americans. Its sister sponsoring organization in the US, the Auksuciai Foundation is a 501(c) 3 tax-deductible organization headquartered in Burlingame, California. To review the full scope of its activities please visit www.aukfoundation.org.

Released August 1, 2004 by: The Auksuciai Foundation (USA),
2907 Frontera Way,
Burlingame, CA 94010 USA

E-mail: [ click here for Vytas Sliupas ] or
            [ click here for Larry Clement ]