|Dr. Karen Jacobsen working with Smallholder Dairyfarmers (90% of whom are women with just one cow) in Malawi (SE Africa), February, 2008
Dr, Jacobsen first volunteered in December, 2007, to work with dairy farmers in the Black Sea region (western part) of the former Soviet republic of Georgia with the non-profit, ACDI/VOCA. She assisted the veterinarian and owner of a 100-cow dairy farm (the largest in the country at the time, and the only one with milking machines) with management and nutrition, including ration formulation.
She was sent back to the country of Georgia again in October, 2008, by ACDI/VOCA (just after the Russia/Georgia war), to work again with the dairy in Senaki, Georgia. This time, she was honored by the mayor of the town for her contribution to agriculture in the region.
In August, 2010, another non-profit, CNFA, sent Dr. Jacobsen back to the country of Georgia to work with dairy farmers in the eastern region of the country, near the capital city of Tbilisi, Georgia.
In January and February, 2008, she was sent by Land O'Lakes International Development Division (another non-profit organization) to the country of Malawi in Southeastern Africa. In Malawi, she worked with 2 dairy cooperatives, one in the northern region in Mzuzu, and another in the central region in Lilongwe, Malawi. With each coooperative, she worked with the leaders to assist them in developing a business plan for their future, so that they could survive on their own after the develoopment funds from Land O' Lakres ended.
In February, 2011, Dr. Jacobsen volunteered in Nicaragua via the non-profit, Partners of the Americas, for a Farmer-to-Farmer assignment working with numerous dairy and beef producers to help with cattle nutrition in a very arid climate.
In October, 2011, she was sent to Egypt to work with many dairy farms and assist with animal health and nutrition. This assignment was sponsored by the Egyptian Milk Producers Association via Winrock International and ACDI/VOCA.
In March, 2012, Dr. Jacobsen volunteered again in Nicaragua via Partners of the Americas, for a Farmer-to-Farmer assignment working with dairy farmers to help with nutrition and farm management. She worked on farms near Leon, Camoapa, Rio Blanco, and Rivas, Nicaragua. (See Sidebar for Feed Analyses from cattle feed samples from the 2011 and 2012 trips to Nicaragua.)
In July, 2013, Dr. Jacobsen completed a 3rd volunteer Farmer-to-Farmer assignment in Nicaragua for Partners of the Americas. This time, she organized and co-taught (along with Dr. Robert Patton) a short-course for veterinarians and dairy scientists on Dairy Nutrition and Ration Formulation Using Tropical Feeds and Forages.
In August, 2013, she again volunteered with Winrock International for a Farmer-to-Farmer assignment in Ethiopia. There, she organized and taught a short-course for small-holder dairy farmers on Dairy Nutrition and Management in a village on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In November and December, 2016 , Dr Jacobsen did another USAID Farmer-to-Farmer Program assignment with Catholic Relief Services: Dairy Nutrition training sessions for a cooperative of over 2000 small-holder dairy farmers in western Kenya.
In February and March, 2020, Catholic Relief Services sent Dr Jacobsen to work with a cooperative of smallholder water buffalo dairies and Holstein cow dairies in a village in Southern Nepal. On these farms, she provided assistance with cow breeding techniques and quality milk production.