Six Chinese dairy industry professionals are visiting the LSU AgCenter as part of a two-week (Sept. 12 to 26) U.S. Department of Agriculture training program.
The visitors are fellows in the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service’s Cochran Fellowship Program, which teaches foreign officials and professionals about U.S. agriculture regulations and technologies.
“The Cochran Fellowship training program is an excellent mechanism for strengthening and enhancing trade linkages between China and agricultural interests in the United States,” said AgCenter International Programs coordinatorSusan Karimiha. “Ultimately, human resource development in agriculture leads to greater food security on a global level and improves the lives of individuals throughout the world.”
AgCenter dairy foods technology researcher Kayanush Aryana led several of the fellows’ training sessions, which included hands-on lab activities, lectures and trips to local dairy operations. The visitors have been learning how to use various pieces of equipment to make dairy products such as cheese and ice cream.
A focus of the program is food safety, Aryana said. It’s important for the fellows to become comfortable with U.S. inspections, regulations and traceability protocols to facilitate trade.
The fellows all work at Chinese dairy companies in manufacturing, trade or research and development. They’re hoping to learn about new concepts, technologies and ingredients they can introduce back home, said Jun Wang, a fellow and USDA FAS marketing specialist based in Beijing.
Although Chinese do not consume as much dairy products as Americans, the industry has been growing rapidly in the past 20 years, Wang said.
“Food industry has been a star industry in China over the past 20 to 30 years,” Wang said. “Even though China’s economy is slowing down right now, food as a sector remains to be very, very strong and developing very fast. There is an increase of China’s disposal income and people’s pursuit of healthier foods.”
Cheese is less popular in China, but most other dairy products found in the U.S. are available there, Wang said.
He said the group has been enjoying their time in Louisiana and at the AgCenter.
“We are very keen to explore more about the States, and also look forward in the future to channels for more cooperation,” Wang said.
The fellows attended the International Dairy Show in Chicago from Sept. 15 to 18.
Source: LSU AgCenter