April 4, 2019 - Curt Youngs, Professor in the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University, was presented with a certificate of appreciation from the Kosovo Consul General Xhavit Gashi in recognition of his involvement and impactful efforts over the past 8 years in Kosovo. Consul General Gashi cited Youngs’ work in improving the dairy cattle industry in Kosovo through the implementation of embryo transfer and sexed semen technologies, educating students from Kosovo and across the globe through his teaching at the University of Prishtina International Summer University Program, and arranging for Iowa State University to serve as a host institution for Kosovo American Education Fund (KAEF) graduate student fellows.
Youngs’ involvement in Kosovo started in August 2011 when he obtained a Borlaug Fellowship training grant to train University of Prishtina (Kosovo) faculty member, Dr. Behlul Behluli, in bovine embryo transfer technologies. Since 2011, Youngs has returned to the University of Prishtina several times to teach 2-week short courses on an array of livestock, reproduction and global food security topics through their International Summer University Program.
One of Youngs’ major accomplishments through his involvement was successfully completing the birth of first-ever embryo transfer calf in Kosovo and probably in the entire Balkans region. The embryo was initially collected at the Iowa State University Dairy Farm. Click here to read more about the first embryo transfer calf in Kosovo. His other major accomplishment to date has been his collaboration with the Kosovo Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Rural Development to introduce sexed semen technology to the Kosovo dairy industry. Making genetic improvements in the dairy cattle in Kosovo will greatly reduce Kosovo’s reliance on imported milk and dairy products.
Although Youngs has some exceptional accomplishments through his involvement, he hopes to continue growing the program through additional funding and training opportunities in the future. Click here to learn about all of Youngs’ involvement in Kosovo over the past 8 years.