Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

Prince Albert Casimir of Saxony, Duke of Teschen established the Agricultural Higher Educational Private Institution of Magyaróvár, the legal predecessor of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences of Mosonmagyaróvár in 1818. Legally and practically it is the longest-established institution of agricultural higher education in the world. The language of education was Latin in the beginning, and later German and Hungarian. In 1872 some teachers seceding from the parent institution established the Agricultural University of Vienna. In 1874 it functioned as a highest level educational institution under the name ‘Hungarian Royal Academy of Farming’. Successfully combining higher education with research, the professorial staff of the end of the 19th century founded ten experimental stations in Magyaróvár, thus establishing the whole Hungarian professional research system.

 

The Faculty is organized into nine institutes. It employs a staff of over 80 teachers and researchers. The 600-hectare area of the Training Farm provides space for practical training. 35 hectares are available for small plot experiments on plant production which serve the purpose of research. The 3500 m2 area of the research stations gives space to experiments on animal breeding and nutrition. The 100,000 volume faculty library is in the service of research and education with its 252 Hungarian and English language journals as well as CD-ROM databases.

The main area of training at the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences is agricultural training, including plant, environmental, animal sciences, economics, biotechnology, rural and agricultural development, as well as environmental protection.

 

The main directions of research are plant, animal, food, agro-engineering, social and economic sciences. The currently conducted subsidized research programmes of the Faculty are the following:

• The elaboration of the bases of the breeding stock distribution and product development of the Hungarian Yellow Hen genome

• The complex development of the water fowl sector, the innovation of duck-liver and goose-liver products

• The product development of functional food

• The utilization of renewable energy sources within the framework of Austrian-Hungarian cooperation

• The elaboration of the production conditions of plant-based bio fuels and the organization of their utilization with the purpose of environmental protection

• The development and ground application of complex photo-acoustic measuring systems suitable for monitoring the state of the environment

• The utilization of secondary raw materials in agriculture; the extraction, transformation and utilization of metal compounds from waste

• The breeding of multi-resistant pepper varieties with traditional and molecular methods, the development of the subsequent delivery of nutrients in organic production

• The investigation of Chlorella strains

• Research on plant protection and breeding

• Nutrients supply of crops on the basis of precision soil investigation

• Research on animal nutrition and production

 

The development of the Faculty’s infrastructure has been continuous since 2000. The Educational and Exhibition Centre of Biotechnology was declared open in 2002. It was built with PHARE support, and it contains seminar rooms equipped with up-to-date devices of educational technology and informatics, as well as larger and smaller lecture rooms and an auditorium seating 350 people.

The new and modern Research Station for Experiments on Poultry was inaugurated in 2005. It meets the EU requirements and enables work on the variety preservation of the Hungarian Yellow Hen to take place as well as providing space for student practice.

The Szigetköz Research Centre reached completion in 2007. Besides education, it provides the infrastructural background for the research carried out in the Szigetköz region.

The recently improved Castle Lake and the renovated Castle Cellar have been given new functions within the framework of the cross-border competition Interreg and in co-operation with the town of Mosonmagyaróvár. The renovated cellar provides room for a system of aquariums, an exhibition room showing fishing in Szigetköz, and an open kitchen offering fish specialities.

He whole infrastructure of the Faculty’s Building ’C’ in Lucsony was renewed in construction PPP. It accommodates the Institute of Food Sciences. It is not only the roof-timbers and the building engineering infrastructure that were renewed during the renovation, but the chemical laboratories were modernized as well.

 

Laboratories

The laboratories of the Institute of Animal Sciences ensure the conditions for research and practical lessons on reproduction biology and biotechnology. In the six well equipped laboratories of the Department of Animal Nutrition fodder and food examinations are carried out.

Three laboratories operate in the Institute of Food Sciences: the Microbiological, the Food Analytical and the Chemical Laboratories. The Microbiological and the Food Analytical Laboratories were the first in Central-Eastern Europe to get the certificate of the German Accreditation Council (DAR) in 1996. By right of the classification of the Deutsches Akkreditierungssystem Prüfwesen GmbH, the stage II microbiological pathogenic laboratory conducts the examination of micro-organisms necessary for the classification of food and drinking water. The Laboratory of Instrumental Analytics is accredited to do liquid and gas chromatographic, as well as atomic absorption spectroscopic analyses.

The laboratories belonging to the Institute of Environmental Sciences (the Laboratories of Zoology, Botany, Plant Protection, Plant Pathology and Soil Science) are units not typically equipped with large instruments. For the most part they are workplaces provided with traditional appliances. A large and individual exhibition, which is unique of its kind, also belongs to the Institute. It displays the flora and fauna of Hanság and Szigetköz, and contains a collection of animal preparations representing nearly 350 species (mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish).

The Laboratory of Food Industrial Operations and Machines belonging to the Technical Institute of Biological Systems investigates the thermophysical parameters of biological materials and the non-food industrial use of agricultural basic materials (hemp, maize). The Institute is engaged in extensive research on precision farming. Satellite-based, aerial photo and geographical information systems (GIS) are applied for this.

The laboratory of the Institute of Plant Sciences carries out the quality investigation of wheat and other corn in the ear as well as soil examinations according to the prevailing standards.

The Laboratory of Plant-Biotechnology pursues investigations in the areas of microalgae biotechnology, plant tissue culture and molecular biology. Air-conditioned alga and tissue culture rooms as well as a modern, 100m2 glasshouse belong to the laboratory. The laboratory provides room for the fifth largest microalgae collection in Europe.

 

Exhibition on the history of the university

The permanent exhibition on the history of the university, which can be found in the castle building, gives insight into the work of the excellent professors of the institution in former years and into the students’ life in chronological order with the help of original documents, photos and letters. Visitors can see the ancient flag of the Academy and get a taste of student life events as well as the work of the Athletic Club.

 

The Castle Cellar and its surroundings

The Castle Cellar and Castle Lake ( Exhibition, Educational, Recreational and Tourist Centre) of Mosonmagyaróvár are owned by the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. The recently improved complex serves community purposes (children’s fishing, boating, ice skating) and educational functions ( ichthyological research) alike.

In the renovated Castle Cellar, which is more than 500m2, an open kitchen awaits visitors. The guests of the restaurant can continuously watch the preparation and the garnishing of the ordered dishes – the fish specialities of the Szigetköz region - in full view. The material remains, documents and photos of some of the former trades like gold-panning and fishing are displayed in the exhibition room.

 

The institution maintains regular relations with several factories and businesses. The honorary title ‘Model Farm’ established by the Faculty has been conferred on 39 factories, businesses and family farms, among others Kaiser Food Industrial Ltd, Bábolna National Stud Farm Ltd, and Lajta-Hanság Ltd. Each company receives trainees regularly and organizes visits to their plants. The workers and the students of the Faculty take part in much research and scientific work together with those involved in industry. The results of this work can directly be utilised by the sectors.

The foreign contacts of the institution are wide-spread. It nurses good relations with several European and American universities and research institutes. It cultivates close links with the Agricultural University of Nitra, the Universität für Bodenkultur - Universität des Lebens of Vienna, and Auburn University. Students can travel to England, Australia, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Israel, Germany and the United States of America for farm practice.