Of the 767 million goats in the world, less than 0.2% reside in the United States while over 90% can be found in countries of Asia and Africa. Therefore, the American Institute for Goat Research has developed and maintains many strong ties with research and academic institutions around the world and has hosted visiting scientists from over 20 foreign countries for conduct of research. More recently, the Institute has expanded its international activities with foreign institutions to include more aspects of training and agricultural development. These activities 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:
Memorandums of Understanding and International Activities
- 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; and
- enhance the Institute’s knowledge of development and development issues.
Over the past decade, the E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat
Research has been involved in research, training and development
projects with universities around the world. Memorandums of Understanding
have been signed with universities in the People's Republic of China,
The Philippines, Ethiopia, Brazil and Mexico. These memorandums
of understanding have led to scientific exchanges and the conduct
of various research grants.
Many of the Institute's international activities focus on capacity building, agricultural development, and enhancing food security. These activities provide unique opportunities to not only increase knowledge of foreign production systems and constraints, but also to positively impact agricultural production in foreign countries and help alleviate poverty and hunger.
- Human Capacity Building
- In addition to training foreign scientists through traditional research grants, funding for international programs provides for both short- and long-term training. Examples include training of scientists from Ethiopia for periods from four to six months; a month-long training for Armenian scientists; a dairy products training workshop for Egyptian, Israeli, and Jordanian scientists; a one-week training course for scientists from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; a month-long training for seven Iraqi scientists held in Egypt; and one- to two-week training and information visits for personnel from Malawi and Rwanda. Additionally, many other foreign government officials and scientists visit the Institute.
- Foreign students are also able to complete graduate programs at Langston University in conjunction with Oklahoma State University located in nearby Stillwater, Oklahoma.
- Institutional Capacity Building
- AIGR also partners with foreign universities in building institutional capacity through the aforementioned training and for obtaining funding for research support and expansion of institutional capacity, such as a computer laboratory established at Debub University in Ethiopia.
- Agricultural Development
- AIGR scientists have worked with researchers, university faculty, and producers in Ethiopia, Armenia, Egypt, Israel, and Jordan to enhance goat productivity.
- Through grant efforts in Ethiopia, over 400 women have received goats and production training.
- AIGR also conducts international research grants with institutions around the world. Recent examples include research with Middle Eastern organizations and Ethiopian institutions.
Current and Past Activities
A major current international project is the Ethiopia Sheep and Goat Productivity Improvement Program, a USAID/Ethiopia-funded broad-based development program that Langston University is conducting with Prairie View A&M University in Texas. Other current and recent international projects are research-oriented and include collaboration with institutes in Egypt and Israel. The Institute is also working 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. Recent past grants include assisting the USDA Marketing Assistance Project in Armenia as well as other grants with Ethiopian universities. In addition to international grants, the American Institute for Goat Research continues to conduct training programs for international scientists, hosting scientists from Armenia, Israel, Egypt, France, Japan and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, among others. A full report on AIGR's international activities appears in each year's Field Day proceedings found in the Library section.
The End Result
Participation in international activities provides the E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research with many unique opportunities. Not only do its scientists learn about goat production and constraints in foreign countries, but information generated through research conducted by visiting scientists can be used to increase goat production both here and abroad. Institute staff are able to learn about foreign cultures and customs, increasing their cultural awareness and better allowing them to perform their work. Collaborating foreign institutions benefit from the training received and from the resources made available to them for research and extension. Most importantly, through our international partnerships and the associated research, training, and development activities, the E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research plays a role in improving the lives of people in developing countries. The knowledge that through the efforts of Institute staff and the support of its clientele some village parents in lesser developed countries of the world are better able to provide for their children is a source of pride for Langston University and the E (Kika) de la Garza American Institute for Goat Research.