Volunteer with Farmer-to-Farmer

Partners of the Americas’ USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer program provides technical assistance to individual farmers, farmer associations, agricultural cooperatives, education institutions, and others in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, and Nicaraguaas 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). Farmer-to-Farmer covers all assignment-related expenses. 

If you are interested in volunteering with the Farmer-to-Farmer program, please send your resume and all program inquiries to Orli Handmaker at Partners International in Washington, DC, or call (202) 524-6295.

Please see below for a list of all current opportunities.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Strategic Planning Expert (Dominican Republic, May-August 2016: 2-3 weeks)

The purpose of this assignment is to assist the host,  the University Fernando Arturo de Merino (UAFAM) with the development of a strategic plan that will help them gain credibility throughout the country on the quality of the education that they provide and to better measure and evaluate the quality of their education. The focus of UAFAM’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan is to strengthen academic areas, research, and extension. The hope is that at the end of the project, UAFAM will have a strategic plan that will help to guide their decisions, as well as monitor and evaluate the quality of their education so that they can make improvements. The volunteer should have experience conducting trainings on strategic planning and developing strategic plans and it is preferred the volunteer speak Spanish. The expected deliverables for the project are trainings on the design, implementation, and evaluation of strategic plans, the development of a 5-year strategic plan, a blog post, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Geographic Information Systems Specialist (Dominican Republic, July-September 2016: 2-3 weeks)

The purpose of this project is to train a group of University and environmental professionals in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in order to evaluate the effectiveness of biophysical data on informing interventions for mitigating climate change and reducing impacts of weather anomalies. The volunteer will help beneficiaries use GIS data to see how current structural decisions, agricultural and water resources management practices, and land use changes could affect runoff, flooding, erosion, nutrient loss, and water quality in the Yaque del Norte watershed. This data will help inform the potential effects of climate change in the region. The ideal volunteer for this project will have experience collecting and analyzing data using GIS, experience training environmental professionals in these applications of GIS, and preferably will have Spanish language skills. The expected deliverables for this project are trainings for the host on GIS data collection and analysis, a blog post and/or outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Forest Pest Management Specialist (Dominican Republic, September 2016: 2-3 weeks)

The purpose of this project is to assess the present status of weevils and bark beetles in the forests of Jarabacoa and recommend practices to control and eliminate these pests. The volunteer will also provide training to forest rangers, environmental technicians, and students on best practices to identify and eliminate forest weevils utilizing environmental friendly practices. The ideal volunteer for this project will be a forest pest management expert with specific experience working with conifers, and management of bark beetles and weevils. Knowledge of Spanish is helpful, but not required. The expected deliverables for this project are an assessment of the current forest weevils and bark beetles in the region, trainings for the host on control and management practices for these pests, a blog post and/or outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

 

GUATEMALA

Expert in Propagation Methods (Ornamental Plants, Flowers, and Foliage) (Guatemala, March-May 2016: 2-3 weeks)

F2F is seeking a professional with experience in new propagation techniques for ornamental plants, foliage and flower production farms. It is best if the volunteer has experience working with tropical and subtropical crops. It is important that the assigned volunteer is aware of innovative methods in propagation and fertilization for small and large producers of ornamental plants, foliage and flowers. The goal of this assignment is to teach growers of ornamental plants, flowers, and foliage about new propagation techniques. The methods the host currently uses are outdated and do not consider the different characteristics, needs, lifespans and requirements of each species and variety that they grow. This assignment is intended to educate these producers on the different techniques available for the propagation of ornamental plants, foliage and flowers. The hope is that by adapting new and improved methods and practices, the host will see an increase in production volumes followed by an increase in sales revenue and exports. The expected deliverables for this assignment are a manual of guidelines on propagation techniques, a trip report, at least one outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.

Artisanal Goat Cheese Manufacturing Expert (Guatemala, March-May 2016: 2-3 weeks)

F2F is seeking a volunteer who has expertise in making goat’s milk cheeses. The purpose of this assignment is to generate additional income for the host through the sale of goat cheese. The volunteer will train the host in best management practices of goats and goat milk for cheese production, assist the host in designing an efficient layout for improved reception and processing of goat milk and the storage and delivery of cheese. The hope is that this assignment will better equip the host to be a high quality goat cheese manufacturer. The expected deliverables for this assignment are trainings on best management practices in goat cheese production, the creation of a manual of best management practices guidelines to leave with the host, a trip report, and outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.

Artisanal Goat Cheese Marketing Expert (Guatemala, March-May 2016: 2-3 weeks)

F2F is seeking a volunteer who has knowledge of goat cheese markets and the ability to assess the different local market opportunities and then create a corresponding marketing plan that will help the host enter into these markets. The volunteer should have experience designing marketing strategies that includes experience in labeling, both in design and in health code standard labeling requirements for dairy products. The hope is that this assignment will help the host increase their profit and see growth in the coming years. The expected deliverables for this assignment are a local market analysis, the development of a marketing strategy, trainings on marketing and labeling standards, the development of a new label for the host’s cheese products, a trip report, an outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.

Expert in Organic Produce Marketing (Guatemala, May-December 2016: 2-3 weeks)

Currently the host for this assignment, Alimentos Rincón Grande and its partner Legucorp are at an ideal stage to enhance the marketing of their organic produce products nationwide and internationally. The volunteer will train staff on techniques to market their organic products. The volunteer will also assist the host organization to establish guidelines to identify new potential markets, both locally and regionally, as well as provide trainings on the development of a general marketing strategy to approach customers and markets that prioritize the consumption of healthy produce. The volunteer for this assignment should have expertise in marketing and developing marketing strategies for local, regional, and international markets. Previous experience with marketing and packaging of organic produce products, or other food products, is desired. Knowledge of fair trade markets and some of the challenges and opportunities for small organic fruit and vegetable producers is also a plus. The expected deliverables for this assignment are trainings on the above topics, the development of an initial marketing strategy, a blog post and outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Expert in Hydroponics (Guatemala, July-August 2016: 2-3 weeks)

The purpose of this assignment is to create new alternatives for the production of pasture and forage with hydroponics, as well as exploring the use of hydroponics in feeding chickens, rabbits, and goats and making products for human consumption. The volunteer will assist the host organization in meeting new alternatives for production of pasture and forage quality feed, establishing the processes to construct hydroponic production facilities, identifying best seeds for planting and producing hydroponic fodder, and building technical capacity for planting, production, management and harvesting of hydroponic plants. The volunteer for this project should have expertise in the areas of installation and management of hydroponics for agricultural purposes. The expected deliverables for this project are a report for the host on how to continue future development of their hydroponic production, a blog post or other outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Medicinal Mushroom Product Development Specialist (Guatemala, July-September 2016: 2-3 Weeks)

F2F seeks an expert in development of medicinal mushroom products using specialty mushrooms, such as nutritional supplements, capsules, mushroom extracts, dehydrated mushrooms, etc. to train employees at a specialty mushroom agribusiness in the development of nutritional supplements and other medicinal products using mushrooms. After this assignment, it is expected that the host will have greater capacity to create new mushroom value-added products. By creating new value-added products made of mushrooms, they will have more options for selling their specialty mushrooms. The expected deliverables for this assignment are trainings on how to develop medicinal mushroom products, a blog post and outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

 

HAITI

Small Animal Health and Meat Quality Expert (Haiti, April-June 2016: 2-4 weeks)

The purpose of this assignment is improving best practices of small animal meat sales, and all factors that affect meat quality. This assignment will contribute to improving, expanding and increasing small animal production in Haiti in an effort to improve the local, national (short term goal) and international (long term goal) market between Haitian producers and buyers. The volunteer will assist in conducting analysis of current quality of small animal meat including goat, chicken and rabbit production, processing and transport, with a focus on nutrition as a factor of meat quality. The ideal volunteer should have experience in agribusiness and the meat market and a solid understanding of the HACCP system, and should have strong communication and presentations skills, be flexible, and be comfortable working with interpreters. The expected deliverables for the assignment are: the development of a training module on the various aspects of food safety, the facilitation of discussion between different local meat producers and buyers, the creation of a strategic plan to address issues of meat quality and develop goals for improvement, trainings on the above topics, a blog post and an outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Business and Strategic Plan Design Expert (Haiti Mid-July-September 2016: 2-3 weeks)

The purpose of this assignment is to develop a business plan that would allow target associations, cooperatives, and individual entrepreneurs to improve their business operations. The volunteer will assess the current organizational structure and future aims, and work with members to develop a business plan and provide recommendations to strengthen future goals. At the end of the project, participants will have a formal business plan in writing with action plan and action points identified as well as a better understanding of their agribusiness and how to improve it. The volunteer will assist several groups, helping them to frame their vision and objectives, and working with them to put together a comprehensive strategy and business plan. He/she should have experience in agribusiness development and business planning, good writing and analytical skills as well as interpersonal communication and presentation skills, be adaptable and flexible and be comfortable working with interpreters. The expected deliverables for this assignment are business plans for the next 2-3 years for each host, trainings on how to develop a business plan, a blog post, an outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Honey Harvesting and Processing Specialist (Haiti, September 2016: 2-3 weeks)

This assignment will help producers to evaluate/assess their current system of harvesting and processing honey in order to make improvements to harvesting and processing related to quality. Volunteer will also 3) introduce new techniques related to harvesting, filtration, storage and bottling. As a result of assignment, participants will have increased understanding of the successes and limitations of their current harvesting and be equipped to try new techniques, including techniques to control water content of honey, and knowledge of the best times to harvest honey. The volunteer should have experience in harvesting and processing honey, good interpersonal communication and presentation skills, be flexible and adaptable and be comfortable working with interpreters. The expected deliverables for this project are trainings for different cooperatives and university students on honey harvesting techniques, including demonstrating different filtration systems, identification of best harvest, filtration, and packaging practices for honey, a blog post, an outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

 

NICARAGUA

Meat and Dairy Production Economist (Nicaragua, June 2016: 2-3 Weeks)

An F2F volunteer is needed to conduct a comparative cost-benefit analysis of dual purpose cattle vs single purpose cattle (meat or milk). It is expected that at the end of the assignment the volunteer will have conducted the study and written a report for the hosts. Additionally the volunteer will deliver a presentation outlining recommendations and next steps.  The volunteer for this assignment should have experience conducting economic feasibility analyses of beef and dairy production systems, calculating cost-benefit analyses to gauge profitability and returns on investment, a graduate degree in economics or related field, and will preferably speak Spanish. Volunteers should be flexible and understanding of different cultures and of what it is like working in developing nations. The expected deliverables for this project are a report on the cost-benefit analysis of dual vs single purpose cattle, a presentation on that report, a blog post, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Dairy and Cheese Processing Specialist (Nicaragua, August-September 2016: 2-3 Weeks)

The F2F Cheese Processing Specialist will conduct hands on workshops with the hosts regarding proper cheese processing techniques to ensure a safe, high-quality product. The volunteer will also teach the members of the Hosts the proper methodology for evaluating quality of cheese, which may include: queso fresco (artisanal basic cheese), mozzarella, hard cheeses (parmesan, etc.), and specialty cheeses (goat cheese, etc.). Additionally it is expected that producers will be trained on how to improve their processing skills to make higher quality cheese. The volunteer should have experience making different types of cheeses, the ability to evaluate cheese quality based on appearance, smell, taste, etc., and experience conducting hands on workshops and trainings in cheese making for adults. It is preferred the volunteer speak Spanish. The expected deliverables for this project are workshops on processing and evaluating cheese, a blog post, an outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Dairy Products GMPs Specialist (Nicaragua, August-September 2016: 2-3 Weeks)

An F2F volunteer is needed to work with the heads of  Delait Yogurt, GRINSA, and INDE member organizations to ensure that their processes are hygienic and safe. The volunteer will conduct workshops with the hosts on best management and manufacturing practices in the dairy industry. The volunteer will also conduct theoretical trainings in GMP for improved quality and hygiene. It is expected that at the end of the assignment the hosts will understand GMP principles and be able to produce higher quality and safer products, making them more competitive in local, regional and international markets. The volunteer should have experience conducting workshops and presentations on GMPs and dairy product processing and should be flexible. It is preferred the volunteer have a degree in agribusiness, agriculture, or a related field. It is also preferred the volunteer speak Spanish and have experience working in developing countries. The expected deliverables for this project are workshops on GMPs in dairy processing, a blog post, an outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

 

FLEX

Greenhouse Specialist (Guyana, June-August 2016: 2-3 weeks)

The general objective of the assignment is for the volunteer to visit shadehouse vegetable production enterprises that are using the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) System or the Floating Root (FR) System, observe the functioning of the respective systems and common practices and to advice the growers on what changes they should make. The volunteer will hold workshops with the producers to discuss common challenges and solutions and educate them on the best practices for successful NFT and FR systems. The volunteer must be qualified in greenhouse management and have working knowledge of NFT and FR systems. It is preferred the volunteer have experience working with small scale farmers as well as experience working in the tropics and/or in countries with limited resources. The expected deliverables for the assignment are trainings on NFT and FR best practices, instructions for the growers on how to improve their current NFT and FR systems, and trip report, a blog post, an outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.

Veterinary Specialist (Internal Medicine) (Guyana, October 30-November 19 2016)

The purpose of this project is twofold: first, the goal is for the volunteer to train the members of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) in diagnosing and dealing with internal medicine issues in livestock; second, the volunteer will present at the 29th Biennial Caribbean Veterinary Medical Association Conference (November 14-27, 2016) on the topic of challenges and solutions in veterinary internal medicine. Prior to the time in country, the volunteer will participate in planning meetings leading up to the assignment. While in country, the volunteer will visit farms and facilities of the GLDA, assess their practices and facilities, and recommend changes for improvement. The ideal volunteer for this project will have a degree in veterinary medicine, at least 5 years of experience in the field, and experience working in low income tropical countries and with small scale farmers. The deliverables for this project are trainings for the GLDA staff, the presentation at the conference, a blog post and/or outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Veterinary Specialist (Pathology) (Guyana, October 30-November 19 2016)

The purpose of this project is twofold: first, the goal is for the volunteer to train the members of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) in diagnosing and dealing with internal medicine issues in livestock; second, the volunteer will present at the 29th Biennial Caribbean Veterinary Medical Association Conference (November 14-27, 2016) on the topic of challenges and solutions in veterinary forensic pathology. Prior to the time in country, the volunteer will participate in planning meetings leading up to the assignment. While in country, the volunteer will visit farms and facilities of the GLDA, assess their practices and facilities, and recommend changes for improvement. The ideal volunteer for this project will have a degree in veterinary pathology, at least 5 years of experience in the field, and experience working in low income tropical countries and with small scale farmers. The deliverables for this project are trainings for the GLDA staff, the presentation at the conference, a blog post and/or outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.