Thursday, August 6, 2009

Research Updates & Dairy Visits

Today I confirmed the training at Adami Tulu with personnel from four other research stations. We will start at on Tuesday Aug 11th. The next day they will be able to observe the embryo implantation. The picture above is some of the staff from the Research Station. They are learning fast and we are getting more done each day.

We visited the dairy at the Awasa SOS Children’s Village. (Picture from their website is on the right). This village has a dairy as part of the compound.

They have a herd of 24 thin but healthy Holstein cows that are producing about 5 to 10 liters of milk/day. The feed them grass hay supplemented with their garden refuse and a little hand harvested alfalfa. They have a silage pit but it is now being used as a sewer.

We talked to them about the possibility of using their animals as embryo recipients. It sounded like they would be willing to do that. We have a tentative meeting set up for the week of the 17th when the director returns from training meetings in Addis. They just sold all of their young animals. It would have been nice to buy them had we known they were for sale. We will try and meet with them again in a couple of weeks.


We were impressed with how clean their grounds were and the effort they were going to to plant grass and flowers around the office. It was nice to see pride of ownership at this facility.

Unfortunately this location has some of the same problems that the rest of the country has when it comes to machinery and technology. They had about a dozen pieces of machinery that was not being used at all, including a nice Ford tractor. They didn’t know how to repair it or get the parts, which are likely rare &/or expensive. They have a fairly nice cheese and milk processing facility that is locked up and not being used at all. Somewhere along the line the people that knew how to use it left and were never replaced so it was shut down and locked up. They can’t even use the building for anything.

We have been trying to get authorization to visit several of the Sheik’s operations. He has a dairy in Awasa, a slaughterhouse and feedlot in Wando, and a large farm on the way to Kokossa. They are requiring that we send a letter to the Addis office requesting authorization for a visit. Instead of a quick email we had to fax it which meant going to the telecommunications center into the faxing office. They must have been out to lunch because we couldn’t get the fax to go through. We decided to go on and try again in Shashamene. We drove to the brand new water office so Brent could say hello to a man that he had worked with before. He wasn't there, so another worker tried to call him from his phone which was in a locked case on his desk. I couldn’t believe my eyes. We are trying to work through these roadblocks.

We were able to get a few more supplies and medicines for the Kokosa heifers. The farm supply store is small and has a rotating inventory. Sometimes he has it sometimes he doesn’t.

Lonny J. Ward
Morrell Agro Industries PLC
"Sowing Hope and Prosperity"

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