Dairy farming in Latin America: A story of growth, sustainability, and food security

In Latin America, dairy production faces serious challenges such as low-quality forage, diseases (infectious, metabolic, and parasitic), climate change, and insufficient access to technology, markets, infrastructure, and resources. Nevertheless, the dairy industry directly impacts the socioeconomic status of millions of families through its contribution to income, food security, and access to protein. A review of unique pasture-based dairy systems located mainly in lowlands (valleys and plains) and highlands (Andes Mountains) will provide context for a presentation of applied field research aiming to improve dairy cows’ health and quality of life for dairy farmers in Colombia.

About the Speaker

Dr. Francisco Leal Yepes is originally from Colombia, where he obtained his DVM degree. In 2011, he moved to Ithaca, NY, and worked as a research assistant for two years. Then, he started his Ph.D. in 2013 and a residency in Ambulatory and Production Medicine in 2016 at Cornell University. From 2018 until 2020, Franco was a Clinical Instructor in Ambulatory and Production Medicine at Cornell University. Franco started as an assistant professor of Agricultural Animal Production at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, in October 2020. He provides dairy farms with advice on primary care and preventive medicine while teaching senior veterinary students.

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