Meet our volunteer in Vietnam/in Get involved /by Eliza Smith
My name is Max Barot and I’m a Livestock Veterinarian currently working with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Hanoi, Vietnam.
My aim is: to work in development to increase awareness of the vital role that livestock can play in addressing food security issues in village regions.
I have always enjoyed working with livestock and in the farming environment and after graduating as a Veterinarian from the University of Queensland in 2012, I moved to New Zealand to work with a private practice focusing on cattle, sheep and deer production.
After three years in NZ, I was given an opportunity, through the Australian Volunteers for International Development program, which is an Australian Government initiative with support from the KYEEMA Foundation to undertake a 15 month placement with ILRI. My primary role involves working in a project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) that strives to improve production and food safety in the pork value chain.
Along with a passion for clinical livestock work, I have a strong desire to work in development, aware of the vital role that livestock can play in addressing issues of food security. This passion led me to pursue a Masters in Veterinary Public Health from the University of Sydney, which I hope to complete by 2016. I have only been at ILRI for three months, however in this short period I have gained valuable insights and experiences into some of the challenges of working with value chains and informal markets.
I was fortunate enough to meet with the KYEEMA team in Brisbane, Australia in late 2015 and at that time we discussed KYEEMA’s focus and work on the development of rural livelihoods. The Vietnamese people have been very warm and welcoming. At times, the language can be a barrier and a lot of farmers seem to be very concerned in finding me a suitable Vietnamese wife! Not to mention the fact that I often embark on a culinary adventure with my daily dinner choices.
I have begun to develop an appreciation for some of the unique environmental and cultural challenges that people are facing in Vietnam and I am looking forward to the next 12 months of the assignment to embracing the challenges, opportunities and adventures that it brings.