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Story and Photos by Knarine Ghazanchyan | Program Coordinator | Heifer Armenia
Translated by Liana Hayrapetyan | Communication and PR Officer | Heifer Armenia
Armen Djaghinyan is a skilled 52-year-old veterinarian who lives and works in Stepanavan, a town situated in Armenia’s Lori region. Armen is a very popular vet in Stepanavan and surrounding villages. He is also a member of the Milk for Money project, a partnership between Heifer Armenia and the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) that is implemented in three regions: Lori, Shirak and Syunik. Armen provides veterinary services for the animals of fellow project participants in Lori.
Specialists from CARD provide project participants with trainings on innovative methods of artificial insemination (AI) of cattle, including the correct way to use AI equipment. Throughout the life of the project, 6,000 cows will be artificially inseminated and 40 farmers from the communities engaged in the project will receive artificially inseminated cows.
Taking special care of animals runs in the family. Armen’s wife Yelena, 46, and older son Bagrat, 24, are also veterinarians. Andranik, 22, Armen’s younger son, is the only member of the family who is not a vet. The family even owns a drug store for veterinary medicine.
Armen’s son Bagrat is no less skilful. He attends various trainings on veterinary care and livestock husbandry to keep current in his trade. “A lot of experienced vets often turn to me for advice or ask me the details of artificial insemination,” Bagrat said. “I am always happy to share my knowledge and skills with other vets. I’m planning to continue my education to get a master’s degree in my profession.”
When project participants received AI equipment from the CARD specialists, Armen and Bagrat were on hand to explain how to use it. They gave precise and clear answers to questions raised by the beneficiaries. The father and son team plan to host an AI training soon and invited all who were interested in learning more about the process to attend.
There is no doubt that any project that has participation from experienced and skillful specialists and experts will be successful. Milk for Money is a large-scale project that launched less than a year ago and it has already had fruitful results. Many of the artificially inseminated cows are pregnant and will soon deliver calves of Jersey and Holstein breed.
Learn how you can be a part of the exciting changes in Armenia through Heifer International.