Celebrating incredible women: Laos Buffalo Dairy


March is Women’s History Month, when we celebrate the accomplishments of incredible women throughout our history up to today. As both a Navy sailor and a Spirit of America Program Manager, I’ve had the privilege of meeting many amazing women who have achieved great things for their families, their communities, or their entire nations.

Myself and Mrs. Ea, a local dairy farmer

One such woman was Mrs. Ea, the first farmer in Laos to take a chance on a crazy idea at the time: milking buffalo.

As I noted in my email a few weeks ago, the US Embassy in Laos and Spirit of America have teamed up to support the Laos Buffalo Dairy as it provides opportunity and additional nutrition for the people of Luang Prabang Province and serves as a visible reminder of America’s status as the partner of choice for developing nations.

“Now, others rent their buffalo to the Dairy, and the buffalo are healthy and vaccinated. With the extra money they earn, people are able to do other things for their families.” – Mrs. Ea, discussing the impact of her work with the Laos Buffalo Dairy.

In addition to creating jobs, healthier livestock, and additional sources of food in Luang Prabang, the dairy also provides internships for local women in the community, helping them learn skills and gain experience to prepare them for the workforce. As 70% of the illiterate population in Laos are women, educational initiatives like these are crucial. Click here to learn more about the Dairy.

Along with Amb. Rena Bitter, Dairy CEO Susie Martin, Head Chef Rachel O’Shea, and other members of the community, I participated in a Baci Ceremony. The ceremony is said to bring good luck and is an important part of Lao culture.

SoA is proud to work alongside female partners in the field like Mrs. Ea, and to support the many American female servicemembers and diplomats serving our nation abroad. I look forward to many more opportunities like this to empower women all across the globe.

Until next time,

Terrell Chandler
Regional Program Manager – Asia Pacific

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