COLLEGE STATION — Lauretta Ngere, an animal breeding doctoral student in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University, has been selected as a Fellow for the Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program (LEAP) of the Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellows Program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development.
The Borlaug LEAP Fellowship, which honors Nobel Laureate Dr. Norman E. Borlaug who has been hailed as the father of the Green Revolution, is intended to enhance the quality of thesis research of graduate students from developing countries and whose research is related to a strong research and support project within the host country.
Susan Johnson, director of the fellowship program, stated in Ngere’s award letter, “You are one of only a few outstanding graduate students who are being recognized for your promise and potential. Through your application and review, you showed strong promise as a leader in the field of agriculture and your research has potential to make an impact in developing countries and honor Dr. Borlaug’s achievements.”
Ngere is working under the direction of Dr. David Riley, associate professor in the animal breeding and genetics section in the Department of Animal Science. Her research project “Genetic Enhancement of Ruminant Resistance/Tolerance to Internal Parasites” will consist of distinct projects investigating quantitative assessment of Dorper sheep resistance to internal parasites (primarily Haemonchus contortus) and fecal shedding rates of internal parasites by crossbred steers in feedlot conditions.
Small ruminants represent a tremendous protein source for West Africa. Depression of their growth and reproduction by internal parasites is a big obstacle to efficient utilization of this source. Also, those parasites rapidly acquire resistance to the anthelmintics used to kill them (or they already have acquired resistance to many drugs). Ngere’s work in sheep and cattle will assess the viability of selection for natural tolerance/resistance and thereby enhance sustainability of small ruminant enterprises in Africa.
During this project, Ngere will work with scientists in the Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine, International Livestock Research Insitute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya, and the University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort, South Africa. Part of this fellowship will fund travel to Nairobi for three weeks to work with scientists at ILRI.
Ngere earned a bachelor of agriculture in animal production at the University of Agriculture in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria, and a master of science in animal science from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.
For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University, please contact Courtney Coufal at firstname.lastname@example.org or (979) 845-1542.