The Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture implements a range of international programs to benefit the world’s developing nations but confronts global hunger from home via its international training program.
Each year, the Borlaug Institute participates in hosting and instructing international trainees who are participants in one of two U.S. Department of Agriculture training programs. The Borlaug Fellowship Program’s training occurs over the course of several months while Cochran Fellowship Program training is completed in a two week period. Program participants include government leaders, policy makers, university professors and scientists interested in acquiring new skills and learning new practices to bolster agriculture in their native countries.
This year, eight major training programs have been slated for participants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines, Brazil, Turkmenistan and several African nations.
As part of one of the Borlaug Fellowship programs planned this year, six fellows from three African nations will receive training related to the research, detection and surveillance of animal Brucellosis – an infectious disease that can be transferred to humans as Undulant Fever. Brucellosis training is coordinated with the University of Wyoming-Laramie, where trainees will study Brucellosis as it exists among wildlife at Yellowstone National Park.
“Brucellosis has been eradicated from the United States except for the Yellowstone National Park area,” McWhorter said.
Under a Cochran Fellowship Program, meanwhile, the Borlaug Institute will coordinate a two-week training program for 20 chief veterinary officers from seven east African countries. The program will instruct veterinarians on the standard methods and rules of animal disease control as they exist in the U.S.
“The program includes sites in Oregon, Washington state and Texas,” McWhorter said. “Again, we’re trying to help them understand how we’ve put together a network of veterinary capabilities that helps us deal with endemic as well as threatening external diseases.”
McWhorter points out that Texas’ extensive animal health infrastructure and its land border with Mexico – where animals tend to cross into the U.S. – make the state an appropriate training location, as it provides an example of how trans-boundary animal disease control measures can benefit landlocked African nations.
“That’s one of the problems that the African people face,” McWhorter said. “Many of their countries are landlocked. Wild animals as well as nomadic herdsmen and tribesmen following the grass, tend sometimes not to honor the geographical boarders of countries.”
Other training programs scheduled for 2013 will include a range of agricultural disciplines such as: cotton genetics and cytogenetics; the U.S. Biogas industry; zoonotic disease surveillance protocols; veterinary laboratory management and the scientific basis for food registration and clearance.
The Borlaug Institute’s international training programs are dependent on experts from the academic departments of Texas A&M University such as: Soil and Crop Sciences; Biological and Agricultural Engineering; Nutrition and Food Science and Animal Science. Training program instructors also come from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science, the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab and the National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense.
The Borlaug Institute — in tandem with partners like the U.S. Agency for International Development, the USDA, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a list of corporate and foreign government entities — expects to expand its 2013 training programs further as the year progresses.
Contact McWhorter or International Training Program Coordinator Eric Brenner for information on the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture’s 2013 international training schedule.
Borlaug Institute 2013 International training schedule as of January 2013
|Texas A&M University Department||Scope of Training||Fellows’ Native Countries||Number of Fellows||USDA program|
|Department of Soil and Crop Sciences||Cotton Genetics, Cytogenetics||Pakistan||2-4||Cochran|
|Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering||U.S. Biogas Industry Study, Exposure||Phillipines||3||Cochran|
|Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab, National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense||Veterinary Laboratory Management||Turkmenistan||7||Cochran|
|National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense||Brucellosis Research, Detection and Surveilance||Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania||6||Borlaug|
|National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense||Zoonotic Surveillance Prtocols||Bangledesh||1||Borlaug|
|Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science||Standard Methods and Rules of Animal Disease Control||Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, Djibouti||12||Foreign Agriculture Service Faculty Exchange|
|Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Department of Animal Science||Scientific Basis for Food Registration and Clearance||Brazil||5||Cochran|
|Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture||Mentoring FAO/WHO CODEX Coordinating Committee||TBD||TBD||Cochran|
|Center for food safety, Rosenthal Center for Meat and & Science Technology, Department of Animal Dairy Science.||Food Safety & Good Manufacturing Practices for Dairy & Livestock||Indonesia||3||Cochran|