International Activities

Objectives

Goats and goat products are part of the livelihood of a majority of the world’s population and are an important resource for poor farmers in many countries of the world. Part of the mission of the E (Kika) de le Garza American Institute for Goat Research is to effect positive change in goat production throughout the world. To fulfill this aspect, the Institute has developed and maintains many strong ties with research and academic institutions around the world. In addition to collaborative work with foreign institutions, the Institute has hosted visiting scientists from over 30 foreign countries to conduct research activities. Training for foreign livestock workers and scientists as well as for U.S.-based persons who will travel and work overseas are other ways in which the Institute is active in the international arena.
International research and training, hosting foreign scientists, and training those who will teach others are internationally-focused activities that give the Institute unique opportunities to not only increase knowledge of foreign production systems and constraints, but also to positively impact agricultural development in foreign countries and help alleviate poverty and hunger.

The E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research has as its mission to develop and transfer enhanced goat production technologies at local, state, national, and international levels. General objectives of the Institute’s international program are to:

  • increase our knowledge of goat production systems worldwide and current constraints to increased production
  • build human capacity through training foreign scientists and agricultural workers in goat production thereby allowing them to more effectively carry out their missions of teaching, research and extension
  • increase Langston University and the Institute’s involvement in agricultural development and impact on human welfare
  • enhance the Institute’s knowledge of development and development issues

Activities

Japanese Graduate Student

The American Institute for Goat Research had the opportunity to host Ms. Sanae Ishii, a graduate student from Nihon University in Kanagawa, Japan during the month of August, 2017. Sanae is completing a Master’s degree studying goat management conditions in Japan. She wished to come to the Institute to learn our management procedures and other production techniques.

During her time at the Institute, Sanae had the opportunity to practice hands-on management techniques with both meat and dairy goats. She learned about milk sampling, methods of determining somatic cell count, how to plate milk samples for bacterial growth, and the California Mastitis Test. Sanae made goat milk cheese and tanned goatskins with the hair on and for leather. Internal parasites, nutrition, kid rearing, recordkeeping, artificial insemination, and research methodology were other topics in her training.

Sanae participated in a research project led by Drs. Terry Gipson and Luana Ribeiro and presented preliminary results at a research conference in Japan. Finally, Sanae visited several goat farms including a goat dairy and meat goat farm, the Oklahoma Animal Disease and Diagnostic Laboratory and Boren Veterinary Medical Hospital at Oklahoma State University, and Reproduction Enterprises, Inc., located in Stillwater, OK. Sanae enjoyed her time at the Institute and learned a great deal. She hopes to continue her studies in goat production and to establish a small goat dairy in Japan.

Simplified Artificial Insemination for Sheep and Goat Producers

Current procedures used by the artificial insemination (AI) industry for breeding sheep and goats with thawed, frozen semen are based on transcervical or laparoscopic-aided intrauterine insemination, which is costly and technologically challenging for small ruminant producers in many developing countries and can be technologically challenging for small ruminant producers in the United States as well. The main goal of this project is to develop a simplified technique for artificial insemination, which would allow farmers easily to inseminate their females themselves and to genetically improve their herds/flocks with minimal costs, inputs, and technical skills. This simplified technique has the potential to impact millions of small ruminant producers worldwide and their families because more productive small ruminant herd/flock equates to more animal-source products such as meat, milk, or cheese for the household and a steadier generator of income. Langston University in Oklahoma and Egerton University in Kenya will partner together to develop this simplified technique by utilizing cooled, fresh semen and vaginal insemination, both of which require very little technical expertise, are inexpensive, and sustainable. This project will build upon the successful partnership between Langston University and Egerton University established by the U.S./Africa/India Tri-Lateral University Partnership project (2012-2014) entitled “Enhancing Capacity of Bunda College of Agriculture in Malawi and Egerton University in Kenya for Research, Extension, and Teaching Activities with Small Ruminants”, which was funded by USAID and coordinated by the USDA FAS and on the USDA FAS Borlaug Fellowships entitled “Genomic Selection in Dairy Goats: Langston University’s Expression of Interest for the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program (Borlaug Fellowship Program) for Africa: Animal Breeding and Genetics” and “Applied Reproductive Technologies for Caprine Embryo and Gamete Management: Langston University’s Expression of Interest for the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship Program for Africa: Animal Breeding and Genetics” Dr. Terry Gipson, PI, was the mentor on the former Fellowship and Dr. Erick Loetz, Co-PI, was the mentor on the latter Fellowship.

LINC Training in Indonesia

From April 29 through May 8, 2017, Dr. Arthur Goetsch traveled to Indonesia to conduct a workshop entitled ‘Improvement of Researchers Competence and Knowledge On Computerizing Feed Formulation Based on Local Resources and Goat Industry Situation & Challenges in Global Climate Change.’ The training, funded by a World Bank development program, was organized by the Indonesia Center for Animal Research and Development (ICARD) and held in Medan, located in the Indonesian province of North Sumatra. Approximately 30 people attended the workshop from ICARD, the Indonesia Agency for Agricultural Research and Development, and the Indonesia Ministry of Agriculture, originating from nearly all provinces of the country. The main focus of the workshop was use of the web-based goat nutrient requirement calculation system of the Institute, commonly referred to as LINC for ‘Langston Interactive Nutrient Calculation’ program.
During his time in Indonesia, Dr. Goetsch had the opportunity to visit the Sei Putih Goat Research Institute in North Sumatra where Dr. Roger Merkel of the American Institute for Goat Research conducted his doctoral research. Other visits were to the ICARD Research Institute for Animal Production and local goat and sheep farms near Bogor located south of Indonesia’s capital Jakarta on the island of Java. It is hoped that this trip will lead to future collaboration among the Institute and various Indonesian animal research organizations.

Current International Project

Title: Sustainable Genetic Improvement via Simplified Artificial Insemination for Sheep and Goat Producers
Type: USDA Foreign Agriculture Service/Scientific Cooperation and Research Program
Project Number: FX17SR-10961R002
Period: 2017-2019
Investigators: T.A. Gipson, E. Loetz
Institution: Langston University
Objective:

1) Investigate the effect of management (species, breed, age, parity, body condition, etc.) on success rate (non-return to estrus [NRE] and pregnancy rates [PR]) of vaginal insemination using cooled, fresh semen in goats and sheep.
2) Investigate the effect of total number of spermatozoa on success rate (NRE and PR) of vaginal insemination using cooled, fresh semen in goats and sheep.
3) Investigate the effect of volume on success rate (NRE and PR) of vaginal insemination using cooled, fresh semen in goats and sheep.
4) Investigate the effect of extender on success rate (NRE and PR) of vaginal insemination using cooled, fresh semen in goats and sheep.
5) Investigate the effect of motility activator on success rate (NRE and PR) of vaginal insemination using cooled, fresh semen in goats and sheep.

Past Activities

Recent international projects involved capacity building at universities in Kenya and Malawi and developing capabilities for on-farm research in many countries. An earlier major international project was the Ethiopia Sheep and Goat Productivity Improvement Program, a USAID/Ethiopia-funded broad-based development program that Langston University conducted with Prairie View A&M University in Texas. Other international projects were research-oriented and included collaboration with institutes in Egypt and Israel. The Institute also worked with universities in China, Mexico, Jordan, Rwanda and the Ivory Coast to translate the on-line nutrient calculator and simulation program into Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and French to broaden the usage of these valuable web-based programs. The Institute's Middle East Regional Cooperation Grant that worked with various Middle Eastern research organizations ended in 2009. Other projects included assisting the USDA Marketing Assistance Project in Armenia as well as a number of grants with Ethiopian universities. In addition to international grants, the American Institute for Goat Research continues to conduct training programs for researchers and students receiving training at the Institute have been from many countries around the world, including the Middle East (e.g., Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Iraq), Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Sudan, Morocco, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zimbabwe), The Americas (Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Canada, Colombia), Asia (China, Japan, India, The Philippines, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Mongolia), Australia, New Zealand, and Europe (Sweden, France, Poland, Spain, Greece, Bulgaria). A full report on AIGR's international activities appears in each year's Field Day proceedings found in the Library section.

The End Result

The E (Kika) de al Garza American Institute for Goat Research is proud of its international activities and the impact they have on strengthening human and institutional capacity of foreign institutions, providing important and relevant research results on local issues of importance, and in the assistance provided to small farmers, and particularly women, in enhancing family nutrition and income generation. These are unique activities that support the mission and goals of the Institute.

Additional International Activities resources:

List of completed international projects
The Opportunities and Challenges of Enhancing Goat Production in East Africa
Memorandums of Understanding