What We Do / Volunteering with Farmer to Farmer

The USAID-funded Partners of the Americas Farmer-to-Farmer Program in the Caribbean Region provides technical assistance to individual farmers, farmer associations, agricultural cooperatives, education institutions, and others in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as well as select other countries.  Farmer-to-Farmer recruits experienced agriculturalists who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents to complete short-term assignments (15 day minimum stay; trips are generally 2-3 weeks).  In exchange for volunteers' time, Farmer-to-Farmer covers all assignment-related expenses.  Volunteers may travel individually or in teams.

The 2013-2018 Farmer-to-Farmer Program is currently accepting resumes or CVs from individuals with expertise in variety of program areas. Some current open assignments include:

To apply for volunteer openings in Haiti please send your resume to Andi Thomas.

Coffee Soil Analyst (May - June 2015: 2 weeks)
The purpose of this assignment is 1) to help coffee cooperatives and farmers understand the relationships between soil and coffee quality, and the relationship between soil and the sustainability of coffee trees on the plantations and 2) to inform best practices of coffee production, working in partnership to evaluate current practices and suggest areas for improvement. The volunteer(s) will assist farmers in testing soil characteristics such as acidity, fertility, etc. and their implications for coffee quality. Volunteer(s) should have experience in soil research/management and knowledge of the relationship between soil characteristics and coffee production.  

Coffee Harvesting Educator (May - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
The volunteer(s) will work alongside an in-country team to train coffee producers on best harvesting processes and help them develop outreach/education tools to disseminate the information to other farmers throughout the country. The purpose of this assignment is to help farmers and local organizations understand why it is crucial to harvest coffee beans at a particular ripeness and how this is correlated to economic profit. This will also help coffee cooperatives in pricing the coffee they receive from producers and help producers improve harvesting practices.

Coffee Branding and Marketing Strategist (May - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
The volunteer(s) will work with 2-3 coffee cooperatives to develop their strategic branding and marketing plans. The purpose of this assignment is to create new strategies to reach potential markets and buyers both within Haiti and also internationally. The volunteer should have experience in agribusiness development and/or strategic planning and will be expected to produce a draft of a formal branding and marketing plan with action steps and work plans for each cooperative before departing the country.  

To apply to volunteer openings in the Dominican Republic please send your resume to Courtney Dunham.

Agricultural Economic Specialist (May 2015: 2 weeks)
A volunteer with experience in determining production costs for agricultural products for export and local consumption (particularly, organic and conventional bananas) is needed.  Previous experience collecting information for value chain studies, especially in the production of bananas for export and local consumption, is also needed.  The volunteer will conduct an analysis of production costs for conventional and organic bananas.  Based on the analysis, the volunteer will train organic banana farmers and technicians on tools and methods to manage and monitor production costs in order to improve management.  Knowledge of Spanish is helpful but not required.

Integrated Pest Management Specialist (April - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
An expert with experience in integrated pest management in the production of conventional and organic bananas, with a particular focus on black sigatoka, is needed  to provide hands-on training for technicians and farmers on identifying and controlling pests and diseases. Expected deliverables are the development of a work plan on integrated pest management as well as a Farmer-to-Farmer trip report and recommendations.

Banana Production Specialist (April - June 2015: 2 - 4 weeks)
A professional with experience in banana production and cultivation is needed to assist banana producers in identifying potential problems and solutions related to: 1) planting and plantation development; 2) production and productivity; 3) organic and conventional fertilization; 4) pest and disease management; and 5) climate risks in banana production.  Expected deliverables are a set of recommendations per farm visited on ways to increase productions and/or address problems related to banana production.

To apply to volunteer openings in the Dominican Republic please send your resume to Courtney Dunham.

Ornamental Plant Disease and Pest Management Expert (April - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
An expert with a PhD in plant pathology or entomology and/or with experience in pest and disease management and with a variety of tropical and sub-tropical ornamental plants, flowers, and foliage is needed to train farmers in methods to reduce the incidence of pests and diseases on ornamental plants that are exported to the United States.  The volunteer will also develop a manual on the treatment of specific pests and diseases and on conventional and non-conventional management options.

Avocado Production Specialist (April - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)​​​​​​
An expert in pruning, fertilization, and plantation management of avocados is needed to assist avocado farms in improving the quantity and quality of production for export.  A manual on proper pruning, fertilization, and irrigation of avocados, along with a Farmer-to-Farmer trip report, are required deliverables. 

Mango Production Expert (April - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
An expert in mango production with experience in fertilization and proper crop and pest management is needed to conduct an assessment of mango production farms and provide trainings on ways to increase production.  The volunteer will produce a report on good crop management practices and the preparation of a fertilization plan.

Expert in Thrips and Integrated Coup Management (April - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
A volunteer with specific knowledge of agricultural pests, particularly of thrips, and experience in developing integrated pest management plans is needed to work with Guatemalan cardamom producers who are currently suffering from problems with plagues.  The volunteer will help cardamom farmers develop an integrated pest management plan that poses precise solutions in different production regions on how to address the problem of thrips.

Artisanal Coffee Processing Expert (April - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
An expert in in-situ processing of artisanal and aromatic coffee is needed to train cooperative members in techniques to add value to their coffee.  The volunteer must also have access to information on constructing equipment for artisanal coffee to share with the host prior to the assignment.  Expected deliverables are to assist with the installation of an artisan coffee processing system and an illustrated manual on artisanal coffee processing. 

Hydrologist Specialist in Bathymetry (April - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)

A hydrologist with experience using Reson PD2000 and Trimble G4 GPS software is needed to build the capacity of staff in using bathymetric survey equipment in order to survey of Lake Amititlán.

Marketing Expert (April - May 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
An expert in the food industry with extensive knowledge in the industrialization and processing of peanuts and hibiscus is needed to train farmers on best management practices and to design a marketing strategy.  Knowledge of product diversification (i.e., fried peanuts, peanut butter, hibiscus jam or tea, etc.), packaging, product presentation, setting expiration dates, and nutritional content of products is also desired.

Ornamental Plant Nutrition and Fertilization Expert (June - August 2015: 2 weeks)
A professional with experience in plant nutrition and new fertilization techniques for ornamental plants, foliage, and flower production is needed to assist small and large ornamental horticulture producers in assessing areas to improve their nutrition and fertilization practices in order to increase production.  The volunteer will make recommendations to update methods and to develop substrate and natural soils to increase production and that takes into consideration the different characteristics, needs, and life period of each species.

Expert in Postharvest Management and Packaging of Ornamental Plants (June - August 2015: 2 weeks)
A professional with experience in postharvest management and new packing techniques for ornamental plants, foliage, and flower production farms (ideally with experience with tropical and subtropical crops) is needed to introduce innovative methods in postharvest management and packing for small and big producers.

To apply to volunteer openings in Nicaragua please send your resume to Adriana Robertson.

Nutrition Education Specialist (May - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
A volunteer with expertise in nutrition education is needed to support association members in launching a dairy education campaign.  The volunteer will provide educational workshops in schools and universities on the nutritional benefits of dairy products.  Deliverables include 4-5 educational workshops, a presentation for dairy stakeholders, and a trip report.

Meat Specialist (April - May 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
An expert is needed to conduct an analysis of cattle carcasses at 4 slaughterhouses to measure beef quality.  The volunteer will analyze fat content, pH levels, color, texture, and morphometry, among other things. A few deliverables include presenting the findings to local beef stakeholders and leading 1-2 trainings on quality beef standards.

To apply to volunteer openings in Ecuador please send your resume to Adriana Robertson.

Specialist in Artisanal Cocoa Processing and Marketing (May - June 2015: 2 - 3 weeks)
An expert in processing of artisanal cocoa is needed to train 10-15 families in techniques to add value to their chocolate.  Expected deliverables are to create an illustrated manual on artisanal cocoa processing, a map of potential buyers of cocoa products, and recommendations to improve product promotion.  Proficiency in Spanish is preferred.

Don't see something that matches your skills? Other volunteer assignment areas include:

  • natural resource management
  • horticulture
  • dairy and livestock marketing
  • small animal production
  • beekeeping
  • agribusiness & enterprise development
  • organizational development
  • water management
  • climate-adapted agriculture
  • and more.

If you are interested in volunteering with the Farmer-to-Farmer Program, please send your resume and all program inquiries to Adriana Robertson at Partners International in Washington, DC, or call (202) 524-5562.

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This webpage is made possible in part by the generous support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of Partners and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.