United States Senator James Inhofe, while visiting the Project Mercy site yesterday in the Chacha District of the Northern Shewa Zone, Amhara Region, delivered pregnant cross-bred dairy heifers to selected household dairy farmers in the district. The heifers were funded through a partnership between Project Mercy and the U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Through the four-year grant to Project Mercy, USAID is building the capacity of smallholder farmers by providing technical assistance and training to improve cow milk production and household income. The farmers who received the heifers are among 83 household dairy farmers who were trained on improved dairy farm management through USAID’s Livestock Market Development activity. With these heifers, the recipients will be able to feed their children and sell surplus milk to supplement their family income.
“Project Mercy has led the effort in Ethiopia to raise its people out of poverty and extreme hunger, and it all started with two humble and compassionate individuals, Marta Gabre-Tsadick and Demeke Teklewold,” said Inhofe, who presented the heifers on behalf of the U.S. Government. “It has been an honor to come alongside Project Mercy through the years to support their programs. Through education, skill training, and infrastructure development, they are offering hope and a bright future for the next generation Ethiopians.” Senator Inhofe was leading a delegation of U.S. Congressional members that includes Senator John Boozman, Representative Ander Crenshaw, Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, Representative Stevan Pearce, and Representative Erik Paulsen.
Joining Senator Inhofe and the congressional delegation in Chacha was State Minister of Agriculture Dr. Gebreegziabher Gebreyohannes, U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Patricia Haslach, USAID Ethiopia Mission Director Dennis Weller, and Project Mercy co-founders Marta Gabre-Tsadik and Demeke Teklewold.
The five-year Livestock Market Development activity is part of President Obama’s Feed the Future Initiative in Ethiopia. Project Mercy is a not-for-profit relief and development organization based in the United States and Ethiopia providing aid, comfort and support to alleviate human suffering and overcome systemic poverty in Ethiopia.