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Avetis Kalantar

Avetis Kalantar

biologist, one of the founders of Russian dairy production

Avetis A. Kalantar (1859-1937), the leading specialist in dairy farming, was Armenian by birth, a Catholic and a polyglot, speaking 10 languages.

In 1882 he earned a degree from the Agricultural Academy. As a student Avetis carried out a research into Russian cheese-making, for the first time ever in Russia. Then at the invitation of Nikolai Vereshchagin, the then most influential Russian dairy expert and the founder of Russian dairy farming, Avetis A. Kalantar began his teaching career at a dairy school in Evdokimovo.

Additionally, he pursued a career as a scientist and in 1883 established a research laboratory. Later it was converted into a dairy farming laboratory, the first one in Russia.

Over the course of his career, Avetis Kalantar studied the breeds of dairy cattle in the Tver, Novgorod, Vologda, Yaroslavl and Arkhangelsk provinces. Like most Russian intellectuals of his generation, he advocated modernization of agriculture and recommended cooperative organization of both butter production and export.

Being a man of remarkable enterprise, Kalantar organized exhibitions of dairy farming products throughout Russia, wrote articles and books on the relevant subject. In 1899 he issued a periodical "Dairy Farming" that became the leading journal disseminating innovations in dairy farming and dairy industry.

His further achievements include introduction of chilling facilities for transportation of butter and other perishables and training personnel for dairy farming.

Outside of dairy farming, Avetis A. Kalantar was active in government. With an active backing of Nikolai Vereshchagin he pursued an idea of establishing a much needed higher educational institution to train well-qualified specialists for dairy industry. The year 1911 saw the establishment of the Vologda Dairy Institute, the first institution of this kind in the world. Since 1919 Avetis Kalantar taught there creating the institutional framework of the Vologda butter production and trade.

Kalantar, one of the dairy farming pioneers, was an author of the following works Yield of Russia's Cattle (1880), Chilling and Pasteurization of Milk for High Quality Butter Production (1892), Condensation and Sterilization of Milk and Cream (1897), Butter Mold and Fight against it (1926).

Kalantar worked in Soviet agricultural institutions until 1930. He then left for Armenia, where he continued to work as a diary expert until his death in November 1937.

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