About the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment

It's the only institute of higher education in Israel which offers university degree in Agricultural Sciences
October 27, 2019
About the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Enlarge)

The Hebrew University's Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment is the only institute of higher education in Israel which offers university degree in Agricultural Sciences. As one of the world's leading faculties of sustainable agriculture, food sciences and environmental conservation, the Faculty offers academic programs leading to B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Agriculture, B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Nutrition and a degree in Doctor of Veterinary Medicine by the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine.

The Smith's Faculty of Agriculture aims to help the local and global societies to eliminate hunger and malnutrition while preserving our natural resources. As the only college of Agriculture in Israel, we are committed to train and educate the next generation of world-class experts in agricultural sciences.

The challenges we need to meet are enormous - The world’s population is expected to increase to ~10 billion by 2050. In order to continue the current food demand ("business as usual"), the global agricultural sector will have to increase the food supply by ~70%. This must be done under an uncertain climate change scenario knowing that the available land for farming is decreasing, water resources are declining, and that the majority of the population will be based in cities. To meet these challenges, we at the Smith's Faculty of Agriculture promote advance teaching and research programs.

 

Agroinformatics is a new and unique teaching program which provides undergraduate students with theoretical and practical knowledge of modern computational approaches. It is an interdisciplinary field of knowledge that combines the world of agriculture, food and the environment with the world of mathematics, computer science, physics and engineering. Today, modern technology makes it possible to obtain data from sensors located in the field, from macro- and micro-level imaging, genome analysis and more. The only way to use this information effectively is by developing new ways for storage and organization, processing and analyzing. For that we use mathematical algorithms, models, computer software, statistical tools and mechanical learning. By doing so we have the opportunity to connect millions of pieces of information to a complete picture which allows you to identify and learn patterns even before they are visible and shown. At a later stage, this knowledge enables the development of new technologies and advanced agricultural practices, which can provide food security to the growing population while keeping the environment and natural resources safe.


 

The Agroinformatics program is open for students who wish to expand their knowledge in modern computational approaches and to acquire both theoretical and practical capabilities in the field. The program provides its' graduates a variety of computational abilities. Starting from a strong mathematical background which is combined with basic and advanced programming skills, on to knowledge in writing models and performing simulations followed up by statistical tests, and the capability of analyzing “Big Data” such as bioinformatics, image processing, remote sensing, precision agriculture, and mechanical learning. Graduates of the Agroinformatics program have a significant advantage, both in their integration process within the employment market and in obtaining opportunities for studying advanced degrees in leading institutions both in Israel and abroad.
Agroinformatics Page

 

  
The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment is strongly involved in the innovation ecosystems and is dedicated to enhancing local and international collaborations. The AgTech and FoodTech challenges are formidable and urgent, and one of the important ways to overcome these challenges is to join forces across disciplines. Our faculty members are thus involved in multiple themed centers at the Hebrew University, including Cannabinoids Research Center, CIDR Center for Interdisciplinary Data Sciences Research, Nano-Center and more, aiming to bring the most creative solutions to the Food and Ag challenges. Combined with the proactive and open policy of the Yissum TTO office, the long standing legacy of scientific innovation at the Faculty is continuing to strive to create scientific breakthrough research for the global challenges.

 

 

One of the Faculty's exciting initiatives, is the student entrepreneurial club FaculTech. Today, our community is home to over 850 students and alumni. Together with the HUJI Innovate Center of the Hebrew University, the AgFood Venture Creation Studio program was inaugurated. Several interdisciplinary teams worked for several months in this program. One of the teams matured into the award winning Kinoko startup for food of tomorrow, based on mushrooms and lentils.

The Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment's research activity is focused under four central research themes:
Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture – the physiology of the production and the reciprocal relations of the agricultural growth with its environment; genetics, evolution, breeding and agricultural genomics; biotechnology, cell biology and organism biology; applied ecology, preservation of nature and management of open fields.
Animal Health and Husbandry – animal physiology; biology of reproduction processes; feeding of ruminants; animal immunology; environmental physiology of animals.

For more information:
The Department of Animal Sciences 

Koret School of Veterinary Medicine

Nutrigenomics and Functional Food – biochemistry and microbiology of food; the chemistry and physics of the production process and food preservation; nutritional values and physiology from the single cell level to the whole organism; functional foods and probiotics; nutrition and metabolistic diseases.
Read more about Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition


Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources – investigation of the soil-water-plant-atmosphere continuum in relation to water uptake, fertilization and pollution; environmental microbiology; fungus-bacteria-plant relations; synthetic biology of the microorganism; development of new solutions to agricultural pests; pollination quality improvement in different growths, narrowing usage of pesticides; agroecology and preservation of nature; environmental economics and management of natural resources; economy of the agricultural sector and agricultural policy; water resource economics; food products marketing, development initiatives in agribusiness.
Read more about:

The Department of Entomology
The Department Environmental Economics and Management  
The Department Plant Pathology and Microbiology  
The Department Soil and Water Sciences