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Caribbean Basin Agricultural Trade Office

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Services for Caribbean Officials


The Cochran Fellowship Program for the Caribbean Basin


Program Description


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is pleased to offer the Cochran Fellowship Program to qualified persons in the field of food and agriculture in the Caribbean.  The objectives of the program are to increase your country's capacity to meet its food needs, and to strengthen and enhance commercial and agriculture trade linkages between your country and the United States.  Depending on the type of training, participants may meet with professionals in the field, participate in field observations and industry tours, experience on-the-job training, and/or attend university courses or seminars.  The Cochran Fellowship Program pays for all costs in the United States, including training, meals, lodging, transportation and emergency medical insurance.  The emergency medical insurance provided to the participant while in the United States will cover only emergency medical care and does not cover pre-existing conditions, prescriptions, dental or optical work.  It is a program requirement that every participant have a physical examination and be determined to be in good health prior to their arrival in the United States.  Each selected participant, or his/her organization, is responsible for the cost of round-trip transportation between his/her country and the training site in the United States.   

Qualifying Countries of the Caribbean Basin



St. Lucia

St. Vincent & Grenadines


Training Programs for 2017

Throughout the year, CBATO consults with government agencies as well as with private companies involved in the field of food and agriculture in the Caribbean to determine areas of interest.  In 2017 we are recruiting applicants for training in the categories listed below. 

 2017 Training Categories


a) Risk Management for Veterinary Officials


b) Biotech/Biosafety


c) Young Farmer Entrepreneurship



*See the section below entitled “Previous Training Courses for the Caribbean Basin through the Cochran Fellowship Program” for recent training offered in these specific areas.


Application Deadline is February 17, 2017.

In order to be considered for training under the Cochran Fellowship Program, applicants must submit their completed application package (application and all supporting documents) to the CBATO no later than February 17, 2017.   (for application form please click here)

The completed application package may be submitted as follows: a) A scanned copy sent to (preferred method); or


b) A fax sent to (305) 536-7577 and the original sent by courier or mail to:



Ms. Graciela Juelle

Caribbean Basin Agricultural Trade Office

909 SE 1st Avenue  Suite 720

Miami, FL 33131 USA    


Please note that if you are having trouble downloading any of the application forms, you may also request a fax copy from our office at Tel: (305) 536-5300, Fax: (305)536-7577, email:

The Cochran Fellowship Program is a competitive program, and unfortunately, not every applicant will be selected to participate in the training.  Each applicant will be rated on the strength of their application.  A representative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture will interview highly rated applicants whose proposed programs align closely with Cochran objectives by phone.  Interviews are tentatively scheduled to be held in February/March 2017.  Applicants will be notified by our office of the date and time of their interview.  Normally, no more than one applicant per company/organization is selected for training. 

USDA will make every effort to place selected applicants in an appropriate training course being offered through the program. 

Please contact our office should you have any questions.  We look forward to receiving your application!


Previous Training Courses for the Caribbean Basin through the Cochran Fellowship Program

International Short Course in Agricultural Biotechnology

This course, offered by Michigan State University (MSU), draws from firmly established working relationships with government agencies, industry leaders, US universities, MSU faculty specialists, MSU research stations, farmer groups, commodity associations, consumer groups, NGOs, and international development organizations that are supportive of biotechnology research and development globally.  This uniquely diverse course takes an interactive and participatory approach, and uses a broad mix of applied classroom instruction, case studies, panel/group discussions, and laboratory, greenhouse, and field visits.

International Short Course in Environmental Aspects of Agricultural Biotechnology

This course, offered by Michigan State University (MSU), is designed to give participants a thorough grounding in all aspects of biosafety for environmental release and commercialization of genetically engineered organisms. It will cover the theory and practice of environmental risk assessment and management, and communication of benefits and risks of agricultural biotechnology applications. A major component of the program will provide practical experience in biosafety evaluation through the real world case studies covering a diverse group of crops, genes, and potential environmental concerns.  The knowledge, information, and experience gained through this course will help participants contribute towards the development of environmentally sound and safe use of agricultural biotechnology. Using a participatory approach, the course will foster linkages and provide opportunities for networking among participants to exchange their experiences and establish regional collaborations.

Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Meat and Poultry Inspection Seminars

A) Meat and Poultry Inspection Seminar I for International Government Officials

Held in cooperation with the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, this three-week seminar includes an overview of FSIS, including introduction to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), pathogen reduction, import and export policies and procedures, equivalence, animal production, and field visits to import and export locations and processing and slaughter plants.  This seminar is conducted entirely in Spanish. 

B) Meat and Poultry Inspection Seminar II for International Government Officials held at the USDA Rural Development Headquarters Conference & Training Center, located in Washington, DC.  This three-week seminar also provides an overview of FSIS, including introduction to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), pathogen reduction, import and export policies and procedures, equivalence, animal production, and field visits to import and export locations and processing and slaughter plants.  The program is conducted in English.

C) Meat and Poultry Inspection Seminar III for Senior International Government Officials held at the FSIS Technical Service Center located in Omaha, Nebraska.  The seminar will be a two-week in-depth seminar for senior officials focusing on verification and enforcement of HACCP and pathogen reduction regulations.  This is a highly developed seminar intended for officials who have a working knowledge of HACCP principles and their application in a meat or poultry processing plant.  The program is conducted in English.

D) International Residue Training Seminar for International Government Officials, a two-week seminar.  FSIS Field Services Laboratories coordinate and conduct laboratory analytical services in support of the Agency's farm-to-table strategies in the disciplines of chemistry, microbiology, and pathology for food safety in meat, poultry, and egg products.

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Courses

International Course on Transboundary Animal Diseases (ICTAD), formerly known as the International Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic (IFADD) course

The purpose of this course is to orient veterinarians who work as laboratory diagnosticians and veterinary pathologists in the diagnosis of foreign animal diseases of livestock and poultry.


Domestic Veterinary Epidemiology


Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection


This program is designed specifically for plant and animal health quarantine officials and includes visits to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) facilities at a port of entry.

Other Courses

Pesticide Residue Analysis


Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Production and Handling


Training on the proper handling techniques and marketing strategies for U.S. fresh fruits and vegetables.  The training, in conjunction with the University of California Davis (UC Davis), included meetings in Washington, D.C. with the Animal and Plant Health Inspections Service (APHIS) of USDA; attendance to the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit in Houston, TX; and, meetings with the trade in Vero Beach , FL.


HACCP (Hazardous Analysis and Critical Control Points) Systems

This course provides expertise in the distribution, handling, and storage of meat and poultry products, and includes a tour of manufacturing and distribution facilities which have effectively implemented the HACCP system.  This course was designed for importers and distributors as well as food inspectors and policy makers who were interested in the implications of HACCP.


Handling and Marketing Systems for Meat and Dairy

The program provided the participants with an understanding of handling and marketing systems for meat, dairy, and fresh fruit. During the first portion of the training, the participants traveled with a U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) buyer education team and attend the USMEF foreign buyer conference. Topics focused on pork and beef products grading; beef application in food service; computer software for underutilized cuts; and portion control. The participants also visited a number of processors and packers. Participants attended a short course presented by Texas A & M University entitled Beef 101. The course provided a more in-depth look at beef handling, inspection, and usage. Topics included: beef cattle evaluation; beef carcass grading; inspection and food safety; factors affecting leanness; meat cutting rules and methods; wholesale and retail cut fabrication; and factors affecting beef palatability.


The second portion of the program was spent looking at dairy products handling and marketing. The program, designed by the Wisconsin State Department of Agriculture, allowed the participant to gain an understanding of dairy quality, processing, storage, and transportation.


Agricultural Statistics Training III – National Agricultural Statistics


The purpose of the study program to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is to learn about organization, methodology and management of programs for preparing official agricultural statistics with a special emphasis on crop production forecasting and estimation.


Agribusiness Development & Extension Training Program


A customized short-term training program on Food and Agricultural Marketing. The program provides an excellent understanding of the food marketing system in the U.S.  It also provides perspective of the system that exporters in their respective countries are attempting to penetrate.

 Past Programs (worldwide)

Agricultural Biotechnology

Chemical and Microbiological Residue Analysis

HACCP Practices and Policies

Dehydrated Potato Marketing and Handling

Food Retail I and II

Culinary Arts


HACCP Plan Validation and Verification

Thermal Processing

Food Retailing

Domestic Veterinary Epidemiology

Pesticide Residue Analysis

School Feeding

Grain Purchasing


Grain Procurement Management

Grain Handling and Port Operations

Agricultural Marketing News

Agricultural Credit Financing

Pest Risk Assessment I, II, III, and IV

Bakery Ingredients Technology






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This page was last updated: 03/16/2018