School children in Syunik Animal Market
In June-July 2016 in Syunik Animal Market there were organized trainings on “Modern technologies and methods in the field of animal husbandry” for 364 schoolchildren (164 out of which girls), 13-16 years old, from 26 communities of Sisian and Goris regions. The aim of the training was to develop knowledge and skills in the field and to raise their interest towards the animal husbandry and veterinary profession, as well as to spread the knowledge among their peers.
The initiative of trainings was due to the fact that in Syunik region, like in other rural communities of Armenia, young people are not interested in cattle breeding, which is mainly organized with traditional methods and there is also a general lack of attractiveness of such agricultural professions as Veterinarian/cattle breeding specialist. The average age of veterinarians in Syunik marz is 53 and nearly 20% of them are over 60 years old. Young specialists are needed to bring in new practices to veterinary sector, to learn from elder specialists and replace them when retired.
In 21st century there are various new technologies and methods of cattle breeding. As children are more receptive and flexible to break stereotypes and use new methods and technologies, it was decided to conduct introductory courses for schoolchildren focused on new technologies and methods of cattle breeding to raise the attractiveness of professions required by this sector.
The following topics were presented and discussed during the training course: purpose of cattle breeding, modern technologies of feeding and hygiene of calves, dehorning, udder hygiene, automated milking, structure of microscope, etc.. After the theoretical presentation of all these topics, the participants had an opportunity to practice their skills in the above mentioned fields in Syunik Animal Market. The children learnt how to work with light microscope, how to keep animal hygiene, how to feed animals and use the automated milking, as well as how to use other agricultural devices and machinery.