Collaboration with the USDA in Armenia

In 2001, the E (Kika) de la Garza Institute for Goat Research was awarded a grant from the USDA CSREES to begin collaboration with the USDA Marketing Assistance Project (MAP) in Armenia. One of the USDA MAP's goals in Armenia was to increase dairy goat milk output for the production of cheese. The Institute's initial grant with the USDA called for the training of Armenian scientists working with the USDA in Armenia and scientists from the Armenian Agricultural Academy. Four Armenian scientists, a translator and one USDA employee spent three weeks at Langston University in August/September 2001. Areas of training included procedures used in the Goat Institute's Dairy Herd Improvement Laboratory, dairy goat management, artificial insemination, semen collection and freezing, herd health, nutrition and laboratory analyses. During their time at Langston University, the Armenian scientists also had the opportunity to speak with Institute scientists.

In 2002, the Goat Institute began a 15-month collaboration with the USDA MAP entitled "Strengthening Collaboration between the E (Kika) de la Garza Institute for Goat Research of Langston University and the USDA MAP Project in Armenia" to provide technical assistance in areas of goat breeding, nutrition, herd health, extension/delivery systems, dairy products and artificial insemination. Technical assistance was provided through training Armenian staff at Langston University and through visits to the USDA's Armenian Improved Dairy Goat (ARID) Center by Goat Institute staff. An additional activity completed was the training at the Institute of the goat advisor to be assigned to the ARID Center.

The Institute provided assistance in the areas of kidding and early lactation management, general animal management, animal diagnostic and treatment procedures, surgical procedures, general herd health, cheese making and product safety, artificial insemination and estrus synchronization protocols and semen collection and freezing. Institute staff also formulated a breeding plan to improve the genetic ability of Armenian goats for milk production in the short-term and laid out a system of record keeping and sire selection to ensure future genetic enhancement.

To see more pictures of the Insitute's Armenian activities go to the Photo Library Armenian Dairy Goat Project.