Max Rothschild works to improve goats in Ethiopia

Animal scientist Max Rothschild participated in the third African Goat Improvement Network meeting in Ethiopia as part of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Feed the Future program to improve goats for small farmers primarily in Africa.

Researchers and extension specialists from Africa, Europe and the United States met to continue work identifying genes associated with resistance to heat stress and diseases. Rothschild and other attendees met with farmers of a Community Based Breeding Program (CBBP), which works to reduce livestock inbreeding, select the best animals for breeding and to reduce costs by working together. CBBPs are useful to help scale up technologies to improve animal health, welfare and performance.

Rothschild’s efforts are a continuation of the year he spent working for USAID in the Bureau for Food Security, which included work on its goat program in Africa. He also collaborated with ISU’s Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods in Uganda helping farmers raise livestock to increase their income and food security.

Rothschild is a C.F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor and M.E. Ensminger Endowed Chair in International Animal Agriculture. He also serves as co-leader of the Global Food Security Consortium at Iowa State and associate director of the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods.