Klaas Dietze is a veterinarian assigned as an APO with animal production and health at headquarters in Rome. He is sponsored by the German government.
"After graduating from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hanover, Germany, I worked for two years as a research assistant with the department of animal nutrition and animal health at the University of Kassel. I had been aware of FAO’s APO programme for some time and so was excited when I saw an opening that would allow a vet to get involved.
I think the role vets play in livestock production is becoming more and more important – particularly as transboundary animal diseases threaten public health.
After I arrived here, it was decided the pig sector would be a good niche for me. My research in Germany had focused on organic pig farming and there aren’t so many people working in that field here at FAO. Although we are yet to finalize the details of my work plan, I’ve started by getting material together for the 2009 SOFA publication.
I’m looking forward to learning about FAO’s position on current issues in animal production – particularly the links between animal health and socio-economic factors in developing countries.
With climate change upon us and a steadily growing population, we need to move away from intense-input, high-output systems to a more sustainable use of resources. The thinking has evolved and I hope by working at FAO I’ll be part of the group which promotes this change.
It has long been a personal goal of mine to work in a multicultural environment such as this. I love hearing all the different languages being spoken around the building. There are some very interesting people here doing amazing work. I hope I’ll have the chance to connect with colleagues over the next two years and also be able to make contributions with my own work."