Utahns Help Build Azerbaijani Dairy Industry

Aug 20, 2012

Flanked by the Caspian Sea, Armenia, and Georgia, Azerbaijan is just far enough away we rarely hear it's name. But for Allen Young, a Utah State University Extension dairy specialist, Azerbaijan has become a household name. UPR's Brianna Bodily has the story of how this Utahn become invested in a the future of a country halfway around the world.

Allen Young (3rd from the left) with colleagues in Azerbaijan.

Relying on faculty trained in the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan's technology is several decades behind the rest of the world.

Allen Young says the small country has had difficulty developing its technology since it declared independence from the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

Azerbaijani dairy worker

"When they broke away essentially the money dried up for their schools, so they went into a steep decline since there was no money to support infrastructure, to support upgrading curriculum or teachers."

Now, with an economy based almost entirely in oil, government officials are looking for a back-up plan.

"Oil and gas reserves might start to go down, so they thought 'what's our next possibility?' and that turns out to be agriculture."

Allen says he hopes to bring Azerbaijani students to the U.S. to see modern agricultural technology at work.

Brianna’s passion for journalism comes from a love of learning and a desire to know everything.  She studies Broadcast Journalism and Political Science at Utah State University and hopes one day to travel the world reporting hard news. She also works as the Aggie Radio news director and a reporter for USU TV.