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ASU Prof Completes Ukraine Program

August 20, 2012

Dr. Kirk Braden, an associate professor of animal science in Angelo State University’s Department of Agriculture, recently completed a CNFA Farmer-To-Farmer (FTF) Program trip to Ukraine, where he helped train workers at one of that nation’s largest sheep farms.

Braden spent 15 days in Ukraine, July 28-Aug. 13, split between Kiev and the Frumushyka-Nova Sheep Farm in Odessa, one of the top suppliers of sheep products in Ukraine.  Its workers produce cheese, lamb and mutton meat products, and lambskin for clothing.  Braden’s training sessions included slaughter and slaughter floor operation, meat quality assurance, carcass characteristics and chilling, freezing and boning.  He also educated farm management on the requirements for building a new slaughter house. 

“The ability and opportunity to evaluate international agriculture, livestock production and meat/food processing will assist our ASU programs in developing our Meat and Food Science students into well rounded pre-professionals,” Braden said.  “It will also help them become increasingly competitive in a globally dynamic livestock and food market.” 

Also during his trip, Braden met with representatives of the Ukrainian Sheep and Goat Association and local veterinarians to discuss sheep production, breeding and animal welfare.  He also laid the groundwork for potential future ASU efforts. 

“The CNFA Farmer-To-Farmer Program is an exceptional method to give our students the opportunity for intensive study abroad programs in animal agriculture and food production,” Braden said.  “The contacts created through this program will serve to increase our department’s success in developing those study abroad opportunities.” 

CNFA, formerly the Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs, was founded in 1985 and is based in Washington, D.C.  It is a non-profit organization dedicated to stimulating economic growth around the world by nurturing entrepreneurship, private enterprise and market linkages.  CNFA was at the forefront of building free market systems in the states of the former Soviet Union, and has since expanded its economic development efforts to Central Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and the Middle East.  More information is available at 

CNFA’s Farmer-To-Farmer Program is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development as part of the U.S. Foreign Aid program.  Since 1993, more than 1,800 volunteers have participated in FTF on short-term assignments to provide technical assistance to foreign farmers, farmer associations and agribusinesses.  More information is available at 

In addition to his ASU teaching duties, Braden is director of the Food Safety and Product Development Lab at ASU’s Management, Instruction and Research (MIR) Center just north of San Angelo.  Students in the Meat and Food Science program use the lab facilities to produce USDA-inspected beef, pork, lamb and goat products that are sold to the public in the ASU Meat Market locations in the MIR Center and LeGrand Alumni and Visitors Center. 

Braden is also an advisor/coach for ASU’s Meat Judging Team and Meat Science Quiz Bowl Team, and faculty advisor of the Meat and Food Science Association student group. 

For more information, contact Braden at 325-486-6746.