Livestock Genetic Improvements in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

2009 Annual Report for FW07-307

Project Type: Professional + Producer
Funds awarded in 2007: $29,974.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Western
State: Northern Mariana Islands
Principal Investigator:

Livestock Genetic Improvements in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands


  • Cattle ranchers as well as swine raisers in the US Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)are considered subsistence in their operation. The livestock sector is still on its developing stage. There is no slaughterhouse and processing facility in Saipan for quite a long time that impedes its livestock potential growth. Inbreeding is the primary concern of most ranchers and producers. No matter how you feed the remaining genetics present in the CNMI, they can not provide you the expected production potential due to its limited genetic capability. That’s the reason, concerned ranchers came up with the project on improving genetic make-up through Artificial Insemination. A group of ranchers from Saipan, Tinian and Rota joined forces with NMC CREES Livestock Improvement Program Leader and came up with a Western SARE funded project. Funding was received late 2008 already. Most of the materials and supplies are available on mainland US and needs time to process. Distance and time compounded the delays of the projects. From January to April 2009: Preparation of AI Facility at Obyan, Saipan at Capt Ernest Torres ranch. Working chute was installed (in kind contribution). Purchase orders for Ai kit, supplies and materials were ordered at Bovine Elite, Texas. From May to July 2009: cattle AI certification by Capt Torres at Bovine Elite at College Station and Dr Allan Sabaldica for Swine AI refreshers Course at Bureau of Animal Indiustry’s Swine Farm in Batangas, Philippines. Marianas GRazing Academy ; a group from University of Hawaii, University of Virgin ISlands and University of Guam joined to assist ranchers to improve their operations. This include lectures in soil, animal husbandry and Forage- Pasture improvements. A series of workshop training is expected to assist the ranchers till 2013. From August to November: Some delays of import permits, handling and shipping protocols for the semen and AI tanks. All materials and supplies arrived on September 2009. Initial actual AI being performed by Capt Torres to his cows by October 2009. December 2009: Cattle and Swine AI demo and workshop were accomplished. Participants from different islands like Rota, Tinian, Guam and Saipan attended the event. Out of the 32 cattles inseminated 28 were positive. Livestock records are attached. Schedules for Rota and Tinian cattle AI service will happen on March 2010 as well as swine AI for Lifoifoi Swine Farm in As Theo, Saipan. Swine and cattle semen are stored at 8-month Liquid Nitrogen and needs to maintain LN level by April 2010. Additional workshop/training in regards to Artificial Insemination is also scheduled on March 18, 2010 in the ISland of Rota during the Agricultural Fair 2010.

Objectives/Performance Targets

  1. The objectives and performance targets that have been met were: Two participants get their certification and be able to perform the Train the Trainers program in Saipan on December 2009; To have a local ranchers certified for AI. Capt Ernie Torres became Certified Bovine AI specialist , thru Bovine Elite in College Station , Texas (May 2009); Dr Allan Sabaladica, finished the Swine AI refreshers course (May 2009); Performed AI workshops with eight other participants from Saipan, Tinian and Rota; Documentation of the AI workshop as well as the AI demo into video (video copy will be mailed to Western SARE office); Eight ranchers learned AI knowledge and skills; Performed actual insemination to 32 cows and 28 cows was successful.


The project were able to accomplished the following:

Capt. Ernie Torres was given Certification for AI, the only AI specialist for the CNMI, thru Bovine Elite at College Station in Texas (2009);

13 other interested ranchers joined the AI workshop last December 2009;

Documentation of the AI workshop into video and prints; final draft Copies of the video will be disseminated throughout the islands;

Successful results: Actual insemination to 32 cows and 28 positively preganant at Torres Ranch .

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

  • Some demonstrable impact: Having a certified AI specialist on island supports very much the project in a sustainable manner; It created an awareness to upgrade broodstock and empahsize the ill effects of inbreeding; Imparted knowledge and skills to 13 ranchers in the CNMI regarding Artificial Insemination; It created possible alternative business opportunities for Capt. Torres to offer AI services to CNMI; News Articles that created awareness and community involvement and the documentation of AI protocol thru video as a resource for other interested ranchers. It opened doors for political leaders to focus on agruclture sustainability by settimng priorities with marketing. More upcoming expected outcomes; Certification as AI specialist of the Livestock program leader to promote sustainability and be able to train more local agriculture extension staff or the paravets; Engagement of Mr Ernie Torres to AI service business; Additional outreach such as workshops, field days and farm demonstrations in other islands other than Saipan; Genetic improvements of cattle and swine breed by 30% by 2012


Brian Mendiola

Song Song
Rota, MP 96951
Allan Sabaldica

Ernest Torres
Saipan, MP 96950
Office Phone: 6702874331
Thomas Fleming

San Jose
Tinian, MP 96952