Tribute to Albert Fearon – a stellar CARDI livestock scientist

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It is with profound sadness we at the Caribbean Agricultural Research & Development Institute (CARDI), pay tribute, to a stellar livestock scientist, Albert Fearon. Albert was employed as an Animal Productionist at CARDI Jamaica at the time of his sudden passing on 14 June, 2023.

 

Since joining the Institute in 1992, Albert’s pioneering work in animal science changed small ruminant production in Jamaica and across the wider Caribbean. He is highly regarded throughout the Region for his knowledge, experience and competence in livestock production, particularly small ruminants and forage agronomy. His loss leaves an empty space in CARDI’s livestock programme which will not be easily filled.

 

I t is with profound sadness we at the Caribbean Agricultural Research & Development Institute (CARDI), pay tribute, to a stellar livestock scientist, Albert Fearon. Albert was employed as an Animal Productionist at CARDI Jamaica at the time of his sudden passing on 14 June, 2023. Since joining the Institute in 1992, Albert’s pioneering work in animal science changed small ruminant production in Jamaica and across the wider Caribbean. He is highly regarded throughout the Region for his knowledge, experience and competence in livestock production, particularly small ruminants and forage agronomy. His loss leaves an empty space in CARDI’s livestock programme which will not be easily filled. Albert joined CARDI as a Scientist to lead the implementation of the Technology Transfer Research and Adaptation Project (TTRAP). It was under his guidance the Goat Farmers Association was formed with more than 100 groups spread across Jamaica. Since then he has played a leading role in the development and implementation of some major regional projects. Among these were the CIDA funded project, which led to the development of the Hounslow Research Station in St Elizabeth and the FAO funded Sheep and Goat Development Project which resulted in improvement of local stock and the certification of farmers and technicians in artificial insemination. Under the Common Fund for Commodities project implemented by CARDI in the mid-2000s, Albert proudly noted that more than 12,000 farmers across all parishes in Jamaica were trained in good husbandry practices with special emphasis placed on breed management and nutrition utilizing local forages. Similarly, under the New Zealand/ CARICOM Small Ruminant Development project he was especially pleased with the training he coordinated for veterinarians across the Region in Embryo Transfer – excitedly noting that it was a game changer for the sector.

 

Fearon was based in Mandeville and managed the day to day operations of the Sam Motta Goat and Sheep Demonstration and Training Centre (SMGSDTC). His dedicated work at the station often resulted in animals under his care copping several prizes and awards. But perhaps most importantly was the training and capacity building opportunities he managed at the station for students and farmers from the surrounding communities. Albert was a consummate teacher and mentor, who willingly, and at every opportunity shared his experience and knowledge with thousands of students, farmers and technicians.

 

He credited his early experience with famed Animal Scientist T.P Lecky for igniting his passion for animal science. After graduating from the Jamaica School of Agriculture, he majored in Animal and Poultry Science at Tuskegee University and later graduated with a Masters in Animal Science from Alabama A&M University.

 

Despite his many achievements, Albert was a gentleman and went about his life with profound humility. He was a CARDI stalwart and will be fondly remembered for his unwavering dedication and passion by all who knew and worked with him.

 

The management and staff extend heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

 

May he rest in eternal peace!