Between 2007 – 2010, Texas A&M University established 10 beef and lamb feedlots in Iraq under a contract for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) known as the Inma project. During this time, Iraq was in the midst of an economic boom. The country was relatively stable and secure, average household incomes had risen markedly, and all indictors pointed to a continuation of higher wages and improved standards of living. With more money in people’s pockets, there was a high demand for red meat. At the time, however, the red meat supply was not dependable and the quality was low.
In an effort to meet the demand for high quality red meat, feedlots were created to establish and enhance the red meat value chain. In January 2016, ConDev Senior Advisor Tony Laos returned to Iraq to assess the operational status of these feedlots in the wake of the incursion of ISIS (also referred to as “Daesh”).