Since 1984, the U.S. Congress has made funds available to the Cochran Fellowship Program to provide training for middle-income and emerging market countries. Training opportunities are for senior and mid-level specialists and administrators working in agricultural trade and policy, agribusiness development, management, animal, plant, and food sciences, extension services, agricultural marketing, and many other areas. Individuals selected for Cochran trainings come from both the public and private sectors. All training occurs in the United States. Training programs are designed and organized in conjunction with U.S. universities, USDA and other government agencies, agribusinesses, and consultants. The Cochran Fellowship Program, which is part of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Office of Capacity Building and Development-Trade and Scientific Exchanges Division (USDA/FAS/OCBD/TSE), has provided U.S.-based training for over 18,500 international participants from 126 countries worldwide.
COCHRAN FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMS FOR 2019
- Wine Production and Marketing
Through this Cochran Program we would to take a delegation of importers, producers, government officials and producers to the U.S. and work on increasing local demand for U.S. wine to facilitate increased exports but also build Serbia’s capacity (certification, inspection, custom clearance). Serbia is currently looking to import and produce high-end wines due to significant development of the restaurant and tourism sectors and increase in local demand. FAS Belgrade’s strategy is to educate the sector about U.S. wine and to use the program to introduce U.S. wine production technologies and lay the groundwork to enter the market. For more information about the program please download the Cochran Program brochure. To apply please download the application here. Deadline for submission is January 18, 2019.
- Agricultural Irrigation Technologies
This program should provide an overview of U.S. agricultural irrigation systems, conservation issues and environmental impact. A persistent drought over the last several years affected a number of farmers and lowered their production, thus investing in irrigation and introducing to the new seed varieties seems to be very desirable to reduce production risks and prevent losses. Only about 7-10 percent of agriculture land is actually irrigated in Serbia. The objective is to assist Serbia to improve its irrigation system and reduce farmers vulnerability related to the drought, but also to present U.S. irrigation solutions and technologies and to open a market for U.S. seed companies and companies dealing with irrigation equipment. For more information about the program please download the Cochran Program brochure. To apply please download the application here. Deadline for submission is January 18, 2019.
Program objectives are to provide high-quality training resulting in knowledge and skills that will:
- Assist eligible countries to develop agricultural systems necessary to meet the food and fiber needs of their domestic populations; and
- Strengthen and enhance trade linkages between eligible countries and agricultural interests in the United States.
The Cochran Fellowship Program offers short-term training opportunities, most ranging from 2 to 3 weeks in length, depending on the objectives of the program. During training programs participants meet with professionals in their fields, participate in field observations and industry visits, experience on-the-job training, attend university courses and seminars, attend agricultural expos or conventions, or participate in a combination of the above. No training, however, will be approved which directly enhances a country’s ability to export goods in competition with the United States. CFP works closely with the Foreign Agricultural Service’s overseas offices, U.S. agricultural trade and market development associations, and U.S. embassies to identify potential areas of training for countries participating in the Cochran Fellowship Program. Every effort is made to match U.S. agricultural interests with those of the recipient countries.
Each training program reflects the philosophy that training should provide participants with sound technical knowledge and the opportunity to test and practice new skills and knowledge in practical situations. Therefore, most programs offer a mixture of technical instruction, practical field observations, and “hands-on” experience. Programs are specially designed in accordance with the training objectives discussed during interviews with candidates and the recommendations of the respective USDA/FAS Foreign Agricultural Affairs Officer.
The Cochran Fellowship Program is open to the staff of agribusinesses, government departments, universities, and other agricultural organizations. In their own countries, applicants may be managers, technicians, scientists, specialists, professors, administrators, and/or policy makers. All participants must be in good physical and mental health, and the Cochran Fellowship Program requires a thorough physical exam by a licensed doctor prior to traveling to the United States. Participants proficient in the oral and written usage of the English language are preferred.
- Program Announcement – After receiving a program announcement e-mail from USDA/FAS/OCBD/TSED, the FAS Foreign Agricultural Affairs Officer in active Cochran countries will notify the appropriate parties in order to solicit nominations.
- Applications – Applications, complete and in English (preferably typed), should be submitted to the FAS Officer, who will conduct an initial screening to determine the applicants’appropriateness for the program. The application must include a detailed description of the training request.
- Interviews – A final pool of applicants will be selected as candidates for the 2019 program by the FAS Officer (or designated U.S. government official in countries with no FAS presence) and will be interviewed during country visits or by telephone by Cochran Fellowship Program staff.
- Committee Selection – Final approval of candidates will be made by a USDA committee,chaired by the Cochran Fellowship Program Branch Chief or Cochran Regional staff, on the basis of the candidates’ qualifications, FAS Officer recommendations, interviews, and country-specific training needs.
- Award Announcement – The Program Specialist of the Cochran Fellowship Program will notify the FAS Officer of the award recipients by e-mail. The FAS Officer will notify individual recipients.
Training will take place as soon as the appropriate training program can be arranged. The Cochran Fellowship Program Specialist selects training sites on the basis of (1) seasonal variances and growing seasons; (2) trainer availability; and (3) schedules at training sites.
The Cochran Fellowship Program does not fund international travel to and from the participating country. However, in some special circumstances, international airfare is provided.
Program participants submit written evaluations and action plans at the end of each training. These evaluations and action plans are used to measure training impact and to provide feedback on the quality of training programs.