CANR's Brajevich earns grant to study swine in Cambodia

CANR student Elizabeth Brajevich received a grant to pursue a research project in Cambodia that aims to improve the quality of life for people in that country.

August 3, 2014

CANR student Elizabeth Brajevich received a grant to pursue a research project in Cambodia that aims to improve the quality of life for people in that country.

The Schoenl Family Undergraduate Grant for Dire Needs Overseas is awarded to the most outstanding projects proposed by a member of the Honors College that serve dire human needs in the United States and abroad. Brajevich was one of the winners.

The grants are sponsored by Professor William Schoenl and Linda Schoenl.

Brajevich is working with the Royal University of Agriculture in Cambodia on the “Pass Swine On” project in which 16 farmers will be given two female pigs apiece. The farmers are asked to give one or two piglets back once those females have reproduced, as well as use new techniques for waste management and attend meetings where they can share their experiences with other farmers. 

Senior Laura Bailey is working with Spartans Without Borders, which is constructing a rainwater harvesting system, along with a well, for the Mabibo External Lutheran Church and the Mabibo-Makuburi community in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

“Liz and Laura’s projects will truly change people’s lives,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean of the MSU Honors College. “The Schoenl grants are a blessing and an opportunity for students to engage with the world around them. We’re proud of Liz and Laura’s hard work and dedication to helping others.”

Brajevich is majoring in environmental economics and policy in the CANR. She took the lead and applied for a grant to get the first-ever vermicomposting outreach system in the MSU Bailey hoophouse, leading a small team that composts food scraps from the Brody Cafeteria. She’s also participated in undergraduate research through the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources by studying the decision making process for Michigan dam removals.

Brajevich is from Los Angeles and graduated from Beverly Hills High School.

“Although raising swine is common practice with Cambodian farmers, there are still a lot of constraints on their farms such as: technical problems, feed price, fluctuation of Vietnamese swine production, and disease outbreak,” Brajevich said. “Since farmers’ knowledge is still limited, support and help from outsiders such as experts, researchers, organizations, and other relevant institutions to sustain smallholder farm operations is very important.”

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