Meet Bayer’s Youth Ag Summit Delegate: Lili Dóra Brassó
Did you know there are nearly three chickens for every person on the planet? Did you know there are five countries in the world where there are more cattle than people? Did you know in 2003, one pig in the United Kingdom gave birth to 27 piglets, the largest litter ever recorded? As an animal production engineer, these facts and many more fascinate Lili Dóra Brassó, a delegate from Hungary for the Youth Ag Summit in Brussels, Belgium this October.
When you picture an animal production engineer, you probably don’t see a young woman with long brown hair and rosy cheeks. Ten years ago, I would have probably summoned the same image you just did. However, after years of study and practice in the animal production engineering industry, I can say I am truly proud of my unique vocation.
I have always wanted to work with animals even though I did not grow up on a farm. While my family raised a few chicken and swine, I really only interacted with horses by competing in gymnastics, dressage and ability competitions. Today, I know I have the best job in the world. I have found that working with animals is similar to working with young children who have not yet learned how to speak. They have a special language and depend on me to interpret their needs. I work hard to find out what is being communicated and try to learn the answers to their questions.
In fact, learning how animals communicate is paramount to animal well-being. In my opinion, it is a great blessing and an awesome responsibility of researchers and professors to take care of the values of agriculture. Agriculture is a prime sector in the world’s economy and by working across borders, researchers can share their knowledge with each other; just like we will be doing at the Youth Ag Summit in Brussels this year.
If someone asked me why I am looking forward to the Youth Ag Summit in October, I would have a hard time summarizing my thoughts. As I imagine, it is going to be an amazing opportunity to meet people who have similar interests as me, and have discussions about some of the more relevant questions in the world. We can try to find answers and – even more interestingly- solutions. We will start the journey to determine what our individual and common tasks should be to end hunger, poverty, climate change, etc. We will also become zealous members of an international team, learn from one another and share useful ideas.
This September, I will begin my Master’s level studies in animal agriculture. Three years ago, I started a research project with the Kárpáti borzderes cattle breed and have since then participated in multiple conferences and writing projects around the quality of these animals. I am currently working on a project that involves different breeding techniques in hostein-friesan, svedish-red, and monbeliarde cattle breeds. I hope to continue my studies through the PhD level and enter a long career in research in animal health, feeding, and husbandry. It is all of our responsibility to feed a hungry planet, but also ensure the health and well-being of the animals in our care, and I hope I can take an active role in this development.