Happy 30th Anniversary Farmer-to-Farmer!

Rebecca Lamb, Intern

“Farmer-to-Farmer puts a face on U.S. foreign assistance,” the Honorable Douglas Bereuter, former Member of Congress and Farmer-to-Farmer founder, remarked to the room of staff and volunteers who had gathered to celebrate the program’s 30th Anniversary in Washington D.C on Dec. 3. The Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) 30th Anniversary Learning Event recognized the USAID-funded program’s past accomplishments and highlighted lessons learned over its lifespan. "Remarkable things have been accomplished," Bereuter said.

And it is true. F2F has accomplished great feats since its conception. Agrilinks, “an online hub where food security and agriculture professionals can contribute knowledge, learn about upcoming events and connect with other practitioners,” celebrated the program with a four-week blog series leading up to its anniversary. Throughout the month of November, F2F implementers, including Partners of the Americas, shared their “knowledge and experience providing technical assistance to farmers, farm groups, agribusinesses, service providers, and other agriculture sector institutions in developing and transitional countries.” And we’d like to share these incredible stories with you.

Week One’s theme was technology transfer.  Many of the volunteers that Partners F2F team recruits are technical experts in their field, and are teaching their expertise to small farmer organizations who may not have had advanced training.   This post tells three stories that showcase volunteer interventions and impacts of transferring knowledge and technology.

Week Two covered capacity development.  Capacity is about growth: growth of individuals in knowledge, skills and experience, so that they are capable of setting, strengthening, and maintaining their own development goals.  Partners highlighted its work with Haitian coffee cooperatives. 

Week Three featured natural resource management. The F2F program in the Dominican Republic focuses on helping farmers adapt to climate change and its effects. Climate change can cause unpredictable weather patterns such as more frequent droughts, floods, and extreme weather. This leads to concern over the reduced quantity of available water. Bananas are a large export for the DR, and very susceptible to drought. This post shows the intersection between farming and resource and environmental management.

The last topic covered in the Agrilinks Blog Carnival was citizen diplomacy.  Bill Knox’s assignments in Guatemala have not only increased the capacity for genetic improvement of goats in the western highlands, but have also  given him the chance to work with animal science students in Guatemala and share his experiences with students at NC State University.

The blog carnival gives Partners a chance to show off their amazing volunteers and all of the hard work they've been doing over the past year.  To read more stories from the carnival, click here to go to the Agrilinks page.