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Indian fellows explore genetics at SWTC
Indian Fellows
Southwest Tech dairy herd management program instructor Jeff Dornink discussed bovine cross breeding and genetics with members from Indias Cochran Fellowship Program. Pictured, from left, are Dornink, Andrew Calhoun, Southwest Tech dean of agriculture and Industry; translator Shubhi Mishra; Dr. Ingale Ramchandra; Tera Montgomery, dairy science and dairy management professor at UW-Platteville; Sandhu Rajpal Singh; and Pardeep.

Faculty members at Southwest Tech frequently provide campus tours and share information relating to their programs with industry experts. Jeff Dornink, dairy herd management program instructor at Southwest Tech, had a potentially high impact visit recently with dairy industry experts from India participating in the Cochran Fellowship Program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Services.

One of the goals of the Cochran Fellowship Program is to increase international exports of United States agriculture products.  Embryo transfer techniques were a primary focus of the individuals on the tour, along with the exportation of semen and embryos to maintain pure genetics and to cross breed cattle. 

Dornink shared information with Dr. Ingale Ramchandra, a veterinarian, and Sandhu Rajpal Singh and Pardeep, both private farmers, who applied for the Fellowship program at the United States Embassy in India. 

“Sharing information between cultures is a vital experience for instructors,” Dornink said. “Having experiences with individuals from different countries broadens the knowledge disseminated within the classroom. These experiences can be valuable lessons for students considering the global nature of our economy, especially agriculture.”

“Our conversation was mainly focused on cross breeding Jersey and Brown Swiss cattle with their native zebu breed with the intention of achieving higher milk yields,” Dornink explained. “In my experience with Jersey and Brown Swiss, both tend to be heat-tolerant where Brown Swiss tends to be more insect resistant, which would be compatible with India’s environment.”

The entire study tour comprised of 20 locations in northeast and southwest Wisconsin, including the World Dairy Expo, UW-Platteville, and local dairy farms. 

“Visits from international countries are a great way to explore best practices and open the door to a wide array of possibilities,” Dornink concluded.