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 assignment inquiries to the corresponding country Program Officer at Partners International in Washington, DC:

Dominican Republic – Courtney Dunham (cdunham@partners.net)
Guatemala – Courtney Dunham (cdunham@partners.net)
Haiti – Andi Thomas (athomas@partners.net)
Nicaragua – Michael Moscarelli (mmoscarelli@partners.net)
FLEX – Andi Thomas (athomas@partners.net)

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.

Expert in Artificial Insemination (Goats) (Guatemala, September-November 2016: 2-3 Weeks)

F2F seeks a volunteer with technical and scientific knowledge of goat breeding, specifically using artificial insemination. The purpose of this assignment is to follow-up on the current artificial insemination techniques used and to provide further training to the hosts to reinforce the best practices for the techniques they use and to ensure that the techniques are being done properly. If the volunteer thinks new techniques are necessary, he or she will provide trainings on them. The volunteer will give presentations on best practices for goat breeding and genetic improvement, focusing on the use of artificial insemination. The expected deliverables for this project are trainings and presentations on goat breeding and artificial insemination techniques, an outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Expert in Goat Nutrition (Guatemala, September-November 2016: 2-3 Weeks)

F2F seeks an expert in goat nutrition and production, preferably with Spanish-speaking skills, to provide technical trainings on goat nutrition best practices. More specifically, the purpose of this assignment is to train hosts on best strategies for feeding goats at different phases of growth and production, nutritional requirements of dairy goats, and the factors affecting nutrition in goat production. The volunteer will present on these topics and assist in developing a technical assistance plan for future trainings of technicians on these subjects. The expected deliverables for this assignment are trainings and presentations on the above topics, an outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Expert in Goat Cheese Manufacturing (Guatemala, September-November 2016: 2-3 Weeks)

The purpose of this assignment is to improve the goat cheese and goat’s milk yogurt processing techniques used at the host facilities, reinforce best manufacturing practices for these products, and provide any necessary training that will improve production. The ideal volunteer will have experience manufacturing goat’s milk products, specifically cheese and yogurt, and will have an understanding of safe goat’s milk handling practices, particularly in rural areas. Experience managing small cheese manufacturing facilities, producing different varieties of cheese, and the ability to provide trainings on goat cheese manufacturing, are all important as well. The expected deliverables for this product are trainings and presentations on the above topics, an outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Nutrition Expert (Guatemala, September-November 2016: 2-3 Weeks)

F2F seeks a nutrition expert with experience on the benefits of goat milk and goat’s milk products on human nutrition. The purpose of this assignment is to assist the host in developing a nutritional plan and strategy to increase goat milk consumption for children under the age of 5 and for mothers during pregnancy. The volunteer will present on these topics and train the host in these areas as well. The ideal candidate for this assignment is someone with technical and scientific knowledge on human nutrition, specifically in regards to dairy products and in regards to nutrition of young children. It is preferred the volunteer speak Spanish as well. The expected deliverables for this assignment are trainings and presentations on the above topics, the development of the nutritional plan/strategy, an 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

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.

Soil Conservation Specialist (Nicaragua, September-November 2016: 3-4 Weeks)

An F2F volunteer is needed to train in soil conservation best management practices through trainings, workshops, and demonstration plots. The topography of the land in the region, combined with poor soil management practices and hard rainfall leads to excessive soil erosion and declining soil fertility. Although crops produced on the farms vary, including pineapple, plantains, coconut, star fruit, breadfruit and cocoa, soil erosion is an ongoing issue that limits Wawashang’s farm productivity in both the short and long term. Following to this assignment the host staff will be able to know how to sustainably reduce soil erosion and increase soil fertility on their lands. The ideal volunteer will have experience working in agriculture and soil conservation in the humid lowland tropics in developing countries, a graduate degree in agronomy, horticulture, soil science, or a related field, and preferably will speak Spanish. The expected deliverables for this assignment are workshops and trainings in the above topics, an outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Integrated Farming Specialist (Nicaragua, September-November 2016: 3-4 Weeks)

An F2F volunteer is needed to evaluate the current operation of the host’s integrated farm and train students and tutors in best practices in integrated farming, organic production, composting and bio-intensive beds in order to maximize production in a sustainable manner. Following this assignment students and tutors will improve the management of the integrated farm. Additionally, with the new knowledge, student leaders and tutors will replicate these trainings in their local communities to help empower rural youth by generating new livelihood opportunities. The ideal volunteer for this project will have experience conducting trainings of trainers and working on tropical integrated farms, speaks Spanish, and preferably has experience working with disadvantaged populations. The expected deliverables for this project are workshops and trainings in the above topics, an outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

4H Specialist (Nicaragua, September-November 2016: 3-4 Weeks)

F2F seeks a volunteer with 4H experience, specifically training trainers in 4H methodology to work with our hosts in the Wawashang area of Nicaragua. The F2F volunteer will first meet with the CETAA Board of Teachers to discuss their needs and develop a strategy to implement a 4H curriculum (As a request from USAID Mission in Nicaragua). The volunteer will then attend a weeklong workshop and conduct two two-day workshops to train teachers in the tailored 4H methodology. Following this assignment tutors should have a basic understanding of 4H methodology and be able to implement it in their classes throughout Nicaragua. Depending on time constraints, the volunteer may spend additional time with tutors and young leaders. The ideal volunteer will also speak Spanish and have experience working with disadvantaged populations. The expected deliverables for this project are workshops and trainings in the above topics, an outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Cheese Processing and Evaluation Specialist (Nicaragua, October 2016: 2 Weeks, including Oct. 21-22)

F2F seeks a Cheese Processing Specialist volunteer who 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 ideal candidate for this assignment will have experience making different types of cheeses and conducting trainings on cheese making, be able to evaluate cheese quality, and preferably will speak Spanish. The expected deliverables for this project are workshops and trainings in the above topics, two presentations for the national cheese fair in Nicaragua, an outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Cheese Processing Specialist (HACCP Trained) (Nicaragua, October 2016: 2 Weeks, including Oct. 21-22)

An F2F volunteer is needed to work with cheese processors to ensure that their processes are hygienic and safe. The volunteer will conduct workshops with the processors on best management practices for making hard cheeses (gouda and cheddar). The volunteer will also conduct theoretical and hands-on trainings in HACCP for improved quality and hygiene. It is expected that at the end of the assignment the processors will understand HACCP principles and be able to produce higher quality and safer hard cheeses. The ideal candidate for this project will have experience with making hard cheeses, experience with HACCP, and experience leading trainings in these topics. It is preferred the volunteer have a degree in agribusiness or a related field, experience working in developing countries, and speak basic Spanish. The expected deliverables for this project are workshops and trainings in the above topics, two presentations for the national cheese fair in Nicaragua, an outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

 

FLEX

Graphic Designer (Colombia, August-September 2016: 2-4 Weeks)

F2F seeks a graphic designer to work with Zue Cosmetics, a natural cosmetics company in Colombia. The purpose of this assignment is to evaluate Zue’s current brand and train the current graphic designer in techniques to further improve the tone and image of the brand. The volunteer will also assist in creating advertisement campaigns for the launch of their product at retail stores, as well as creating graphic design concepts for their webpage and social media. Time permitting, the volunteer will also evaluate and assist in improving packaging and labeling for U.S. and Canadian consumers. The ideal volunteer will be a graphic design expert with knowledge in the following areas: tools and techniques for targeting the beauty industry market, basic programming for WordPress websites, graphic design software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, etc., and social media marketing. The expected deliverables for this project are trainings on graphic design techniques and software, creation of new design material for Zue, an outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

International Trade and Logistics Expert (Colombia, August-September 2016: 2-4 Weeks)

F2F seeks an international trade and logistics expert to work with Zue Cosmetics, a natural cosmetics company in Colombia. The purpose of this assignment is to design a road map for exporting cosmetics to the U.S. and assist Zue in fulfilling the requirements to be able to export cosmetics to the U.S. and Canada. This may include assistance with finding a third party warehouse in the U.S., training in inventory management tools, and/or providing recommendations for brokers for imports. The volunteer will also train the Zue staff on best practices for managing and navigating international trade logistics. The ideal volunteer for this project will have experience and knowledge in the following areas: exporting and importing cosmetics and beauty products to the US, supply chain logistics, warehouse and inventory management, and FDA customs and regulations. The expected deliverables for this assignment are trainings on best import/export practices, the development of guidelines to help Zue in this endeavor, an outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

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.