The initial planning for the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) Chiang Mai University-University of Minnesota veterinary educational twinning project came together in the fall of 2012, when key faculty and administrators envisioned what might be accomplished. The plan proved invaluable as a road map but, much like the experience of traveling, several changes occurred over the 39-month project.
We all need to eat to stay healthy. Helping to assure the security and safety of our food supply is a critical challenge here in the US and abroad, and one of the ways we at the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) and College of Veterinary Medicine work to meet this challenge is by controlling important infectious diseases of livestock and poultry that pose economic, trade, and public health risks.
“The overall experience, international perspective on food production, and networking with a culturally diverse collection of professionals were the most important components to me.” – 2016 participant
Faculty and staff at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) are working on a project that will provide animal food manufacturers with an easy way to identify the most likely hazards that could occur in the various ingredients they use to make their products.
CAHFS geographical reach and influence has expanded greatly since its formation in 2001. And nowhere has CAHFS’ growing influence become more apparent than in its work as an OIE Collaborating Center for Capacity Building in Veterinary Services—a prestigious distinction that CAHFS has held since 2009. CAHFS is one of only six such centers worldwide, and it recently helped a veterinary public health center halfway around the world attain similar status.
Training Veterinary Public Health Professionals
Recent outbreaks of infectious diseases, including highly pathogenic avian influenza and Zika virus, as well as occupational health challenges faced by farm workers and ongoing challenges of antimicrobial resistance, demonstrate the continued need for well-trained veterinary public health professionals.
This August, three instructors and nineteen participants from across the University of Minnesota and Chiang Mai University in Thailand explored two complex food systems in the week-long Focus on Food Production program.
100% of participants said program expanded their understanding of food production systems
Farm to Table seminar brings One Health perspective to Kosovo’s future food system and animal health leaders
Just back from two weeks in Kosovo, Transformational Leadership Project principal investigator Dr. Karin Hamilton is encouraged by the enthusiasm of students across the food safety and animal health spectrum for working together to build a strong, safe food system in the developing country.
With working relationships established, logistics ironed out, and the first round of cross-cultural training opportunities under its belt, CAHFS is entering the second year of a four-year project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and sponsored by World Learning aimed at building educational capacity at the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary, University of Prishtina in Kosovo.