Originally published on August 28, 2015.
In Lebanon, dairy farmers focus mostly on the price of feed and are generally unaware of animal nutritional needs. Archie Devore, a retired dairy scientist, recently completed his 21th Farmer to Farmer assignment! His visit was made possible by the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Land O’Lakes International Development.
Dr. Devore worked with a private organization that provides feed pre-mixes to dairy cattle farmers in Lebanon. While on assignment, he developed three formulas; a lactating cow premix with minerals, vitamins, buffers and additives; a complete pelleted dairy calf starter; and a top dress additive for pre-fresh and post-freshening cows to prevent metabolic disorders. The company is planning to begin production of these mixes. Sales of these products are expected to not only increase profitability and customer satisfaction for the company, but also increase milk production, and increase health and reproduction for farmers - a win-win.
The veterinary company, which has hosted several F2F volunteers over the years, was thrilled to host Devore. “Every assignment has brought us new ideas to improve,” says the company. “I really thank the F2F program for offering...to help us improve our business, and I also would like to thank the volunteer consultants who donate their times to train us in order to increase our know-how and improve our work.”
While the host organizations benefit greatly from F2F assignments, the assignments can also often offer a great deal of satisfaction to volunteers. Volunteers, like Devore, often go on many assignments, repeatedly returning to the same country multiple times. In fact, as this story is being written, Devore is currently on another dairy assignment with two host organizations continuing to help strengthen the dairy sector in Lebanon.