USA, Athens, Georgia. Mike Lacy, professor emeritus and former head of the University of Georgia Department of Poultry Science, has been tapped by the U.S. Department of State to help train agricultural extension agents in South Africa and to provide support to poultry farmers there.
Lacy, who retired from UGA in 2016, will travel to South Africa in February 2017 as part of the Department of State’s Fulbright Specialist Program, a sponsored exchange program for academics and professionals.
He worked in UGA Cooperative Extension poultry housing research for many years before entering administration. He led outreach trips to African countries throughout his career. In addition to assisting fledgling poultry industries, teams from UGA poultry science worked to build the capacity for rural, smallholder farmers, many of whom are women, to manage small-scale poultry flocks.
Lacy will work with the World Poultry Foundation and the KwaZulu-Natal Poultry Institute to provide assistance to historically disadvantaged poultry producers who have faced significant production constraints due to high feed costs, absence of disease control and a severe lack of educational resources.
An overarching goal of the project is to help South African small farmers increase egg and poultry meat production, which will help address protein malnutrition issues in their families and communities.
The Fulbright Specialist Program links U.S. scholars and professionals and their counterparts at host institutions overseas. The program awards grants to U.S. faculty and professionals who have been approved to join the roster of specialists in select disciplines in order to engage in short-term collaborative projects at eligible institutions in more than 140 countries worldwide.