Jason Davis | Agriculture and Environmental Science

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Agriculture and Environmental Science major

Jason says his trip to Zambia has been quite a humbling experience. He went to Zambia with the expectation that livestock production would not be much different from what he has been learning in the States. Unfortunately, there is nowhere to buy fencing supplies, feed/mineral supplements, vaccinations, deworming treatments or veterinary supplies, which substantially complicates the situation. Also, the people have no concept of animal husbandry nor can see that humane treatment of livestock is not only a biblical concept, but also equals greater yields and more income for the family. Jason quickly realized that he did not have it all figured out.

Jason says his education in the Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has proven to be very valuable for finding sustainable methods for raising animals for meat. Especially since God has provided everything the people of Zambia need for production. They have everything from parasite and drought resistant breeds to fencing supplies. The real challenge lies in how to change a centuries old mind set of doing as little as possible in order to just get by.

The evidence seems to be showing that the indigenous breed of goat is extremely resistant to intestinal parasites. Unless they are kept in confinement where inbreeding, poor nutrition, and concentrated grazing all work against the goat's natural ability to fight off such infections. Jason has been evaluating recovery time of grasses being grazed or burned during the dry season. Jason found it interesting to see green grass sprouting up fairly quickly even after two months of no rain. This could mean supplementation of grazers during the dry season may be minimal, if at all necessary.  He also conducted soil tests with chemical test kits to show some of the local farmers the importance and convenience of composting.

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