Dr. Valerie Ragan of VA-MD Vet Med’s Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine (CPCVM) traveled to the Republic of Georgia in July 2010 as part of a team from the University of Maryland working with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service to evaluate the success and impacts of a pilot project involving the development of several Regional Veterinary Service Units (RVSU), supported by USDA.
The team met with veterinarians and farmers in a number of villages throughout the country as part of the assessment process. The program theory behind the pilot project was that RVSUs would serve as a center of regional knowledge transfer about animal disease detection and treatment, thus improving regional animal health outcomes and leading to increases in regional farm productivity and profitability.
A delegation from the Republic of Georgia subsequently traveled to the United States and met at the Gudelsky Center on the College Park campus of the VA-MD Vet Med where Dr. Ragan presented her findings. USDA officials from the Foreign Agriculture Service and the National Agriculture Statistics Service, as well as University of Maryland faculty also participated in the meeting.