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Agriculture Exchange Between Fresno and Armenia

Staff Report

CSU Fresno President Dr. John Welty hosted a reception for a group of academics and professors from Armenia at the University Home on Wednesday, January 22.As part of the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Assistance Project, a fifteen person group from Armenia arrived January 16 for a two week program at California State University, Fresno. The group was divided into two: a Strategic Planning Group and a “Train-the-Trainers” Group.

The Strategic Planning Group was designed for administrators for the purpose of illustrating and applying the concepts of strategic planning at Armenia’s Agricultural Academy (AAA). Activities for the group included lectures and laboratory exercises at CSU Fresno, a visit to the Kearney Agricultural Station, a visit to San Francisco State University, and a visit to the campus of UC Berkeley. The group of administrators will return to Armenia to continue the process back in Armenia.

The Strategic Planning Group included Samvel Avetisyan, Head of the Department of Science and Education of the Ministry of Agriculture; Vardan Haikazyan, Director of Extension Service; Armen Khachatryan, Rector, Armenian Agricultural Academy; Sergey Ghazaryan, President, Academy of Agricultural Sciences; Levon Aghamyan, Project Director, World Bank’s Agricultural Reform and Restructuring Project and Gayane Mkrtchian, Assistant for Public Relations for the USDA. From the United States were John Shields, Professor of Agricultural Economics at California State University, Fresno and leader of the Strategic Planning Group; Donald Pritchard, and David Nelson, consultant for strategic planning and curriculum development.


The “Train-the Trainers Program” was designed for faculty from the Agricultural Academy. The goal of the program was to provide a general overview of important aspects of conducting agricultural business. Mini-courses in finance, management, marketing, and computer applications were presented over the two week period. The participants were able to take away from the course enough knowledge and material to enable them to incorporate all or parts of the course into their classes at the Agricultural Academy.

The “Train-the-Trainers” group included from Armenia: Gerasim Davtyan, Dean of the Department of Agricultural Economics at the Armenian Agricultural Academy; Sergey Meloyan, Deputy Dean, Department of Agricultural Economics at the Armenian Agricultural Academy; Varduhi Khachatryan, Assistant to the Rector for Foreign Relations at the Armenian Agricultural Academy; Youri Marmaryan, Deputy Rector of the Armenian Agricultural Academy; Tsolak Galstyan, Head, Department of Academic Methodology at the Armenian Agricultural Academy; Ashot Aghababyan, Head, Department of Scientifics at the Armenian Agricultural Academics; Armen Aivazyan, Assistant to the Rector at the Armenian Agricultural Academy of Armenia; Ashot Bayadyan, Professor and Chair of the Department of Accounting and Audit at the Armenian Agricultural Academy and Gayane Petrosyan, of the USDA.


Juan Batista, Professor of Agricultural Economics at California State University was the leader of the “Train-the-Trainers” group. Elizabeth Shields, Victor Panico, James Cothern, and William Rice, all of California State University, Fresno implemented the mini-courses. B

arlow Der Mugrdechian of the Armenian Studies Program coordinated translation services for the two-week program. Translators were Arevig Hagopian, Ashot Hagopian, and Viktoriya Yerkanyan.