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

Geographic Information Systems Specialist (Dominican Republic, October-November 2016: 2-3 weeks)

A Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialist is needed to train a group of University and environmental professionals in GIS data collection and interpretation. The volunteer will train beneficiaries on how to use GIS data to predict how structural, agricultural, and other land use may affect runoff, flooding, erosion, soil nutrient loss, and water quality in the Yaque del Norte watershed. The volunteer should have experience collecting and analyzing data using GIS and training environmental professionals in these applications of GIS. Expected deliverables include: workshops/trainings on GIS data collection and analysis, a Farmer-to-Farmer Trip Report and Recommendations, and a blog post and/or other outreach activity.

Organic Banana Production Specialist (Dominican Republic, October-November 2016: 2-3 weeks)

F2F seeks an agronomist with experience in organic production of bananas to conduct trainings to banana association members in the DR on the following topics:

  1. Organic banana production technologies
  2. Organic fertilization
  3. Organic IPM, with emphasis on Black sigatoka
  4. Methods to reduce production costs in organic production

The volunteer will assess the farm conditions of individual banana producers and recommend ways to improve production, productivity, and sanitation using organic techniques and technologies. Some of these producers will be conventional producers interested in learning about the transition from conventional to organic production. Expected deliverables include a Farmer-to-Farmer Trip Report and follow-up recommendations. 

Water Quality Specialist (Dominican Republic, October-December 2016: 2-3 Weeks)

F2F seeks an environmental engineer or water quality expert with experience in measuring and assessing water quality. A specialist is needed to evaluate current methodologies and instruments used to measure water quality of the Yaque del Norte Watershed. The volunteer will provide training and recommendations to environmental technicians and environmental students on how to improve methods and monitoring as well as support beneficiaries in providing training and assistance in developing a grant proposal for a watershed monitoring project. Expected deliverables include a Farmer-to-Farmer trip report, Recommendations, and at least one outreach activity.

IPM specialist with experience with Frankliniella occidentalis (Dominican Republic, October-December 2016: 2-3 weeks)

The purpose of this assignment is to assess current pest and disease management and control in vegetable greenhouse production, with a particular focus on the management of Frankliniella occidentalis. An F2F volunteer is needed to provide integrated pest management (IPM) training in order for Farmers and extension agents to be able to identify, control and eradicate pests and diseases that affect the production of vegetables produced in greenhouses. In addition, the volunteer will recommend best practices for the prevention and control of Frankliniella occidentalis, including the use of chemicals or other biological controls. The expected deliverables for this assigment include a Farmer-to-Farmer trip report and applicable Recommendations for beneficiaries.

 

GUATEMALA

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

The purpose of this assignment is to help the host organizations sell more of their products at the best prices in the market and thus increase their income. A volunteer is needed to train two companies on techniques to market their organic products. Other expected results are greater capacity of the companies to access new markets, as well as greater capacity to implement marketing strategies for organic products. The volunteer will assist the companies 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. Expected deliverables include a Farmer-to-Farmer Trip Report and Recommendations, and a blog post and/or other outreach activity.

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

F2F seeks an expert in the development of medicinal mushroom products using specialty mushrooms (i.e., nutritional supplements, capsules, mushroom extracts, dehydrated mushrooms, etc.). This expert will train employees at a specialty mushroom agribusiness in the development of nutritional supplements and other medicinal products using mushrooms. As a result of this assignment, the agribusiness will have greater capacity to create new value-added mushroom products, thereby having greater opportunities for sales. The expected deliverables for this assignment are workshops/training on the development of new medicinal mushroom products a Farmer-to-Farmer Trip Report and follow-up recommendations. 

Marketing Expert (Guatemala, October-November 2016: 2-3 Weeks)

The purpose of this assignment is to help a small enterprise in Guatemala gain experience in international marketing strategies in order for the enterprise to develop into a large company with greater capacity. F2F seeks a volunteer with knowledge and experience to develop a financial strategy and trading plan both at the national and international market levels. The volunteer will assist in establishing a financial system that can be managed digitally, develop a sales strategy, create a trading plan and will develop marketing material. Expected deliverables are a Farmer-to Farmer Trip Report and Recommendations.

Postharvest Packaging for Ornamental Plants (Guatemala, October-November 2016: 2 Weeks)

The purpose of this assignment is to assist producers in learning about postharvest and new packing methods that are suitable for their crops of ornamental plants, flowers and foliage. The methods currently used are outdated and do not take into consideration the different characteristics, needs, etc. of the different species that are produced and packaged. This assignment is intended to address postharvest problems, and thus, increase production volumes, sales revenue, and exports of the associated producers. A volunteer with experience in postharvest management and new packing techniques is needed to assess current postharvest management and packaging practices for different species of ornamental plants and provide recommendations for improvement. The volunteer will take their recommendations to develop a manual that will be available for all associated ornamental producers to use. The expected deliverables for this assignment are a Farmer-to-Farmer Trip Report and Recommendations.

Expert in Ornamental Plant Nutrition and Fertilization (Guatemala, October-December 2016: 2 Weeks)

F2F seeks a volunteer with extensive experience in ornamental plant nutrition and fertilization. Experience with tropical and subtropical crops is desirable, but not required. The volunteer will train small and large producers in new techniques to improve fertilization of ornamental plants, foliage, and flowers. As a result of this assignment, ornamental plant producers will have greater knowledge of methods to improve their ornamental plant nutrition and fertilization techniques, thereby lowering costs, increasing productivity, and improving the overall quality of the product. Expected deliverables for this assignment include a Farmer-to-Farmer Trip Report and Recommendations and an outreach activity (i.e., blog post, press release, social media, etc.)

Plant pathologist with experience with Phytophtora (Guatemala, October-December 2016: 2 Weeks)

The purpose of this assignment are to address the growing presence of Phytophtora in crops, and to update the methods currently used to control Phytophtora that are not adapted to the different characteristics, needs, life period, and requirements of the different varieties of ornamental plants produced on different farms. A volunteer with extensive experience in Phytophtora management is needed to train small and large producers on the different types of Phytophtora and methods to identify, control, and manage it in ornamental plants, foliage, and flowers. Anticipated results of this assignment are to decrease production problems and increase quality, sales, and exports for the associated producers. The expected deliverables are a Farmer-to-Farmer Trip Report and Recommendations Form, and an outreach activity.

 

HAITI

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

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.

Dairy Products GMPs Specialist (Nicaragua, November-December 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.

Dairy Cattle Specialist with experience in Mastitis diagnosis and treatment (Nicaragua, November-December 2016: 2 Weeks)

The purpose of this assignment is to address the frequent problem of mastitis in dairy farming and to increase farmers’ knowledge on how to diagnose, prevent, and treat mastitis. An F2F volunteer, with a background in animal sciences and experience in dairy cattle in regarding the treatment of mastitis, is needed lead develop materials and lead workshops and trainings on how to diagnose and treat mastitis. Spanish proficiency preferred for this assignment. It is expected that at the end of the assignment the extension agents and farmers will be able to diagnose mastitis and know different methods to prevent and treat it. Expected deliverables are a blog post, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Nutrition Specialist (Nicaragua, December 2016: 2-3 Weeks)

An F2F volunteer with a background in nutritional educations is needed to train livestock and development organizations as well as the general public on how to interpret the nutrition table found on the back of food items. This assignment requires the volunteer to speak Spanish. Volunteer activities may include leading workshops, trainings and mass media events (television programs, radio broadcasts, etc.) It is expected that at the end of the assignment the hosts and general public will be able to better read the nutrition table and understand proper quantities of dairy and beef products to consume on a daily basis. The expected deliverables for this assignment are workshops and trainings in nutrition, a blog post, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.