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

Cacao Farm Management and Post-Harvest Processing Volunteer (Dominican Republic (April-June 2016: 2-3 weeks)

This F2F assignment will focus on farm management and post-harvest techniques with small-scale famers and at Reserva Zorzal – a 1,019 acre bird sanctuary and organic cacao demonstration farm in the northern mountain range of the Dominican Republic. The goal of this assignment is to help Reserva Zorzal with general technical support, agronomic support focused on establishing and maintaining over 100 acres of cacao, and improving their post-harvest processing practices. Reserva Zorzal is seeking a volunteer with extensive expertise and specialization in the cacao industry who has experience working in cacao production and post-harvest management, a degree in agronomy, botany or a related field, an understanding of the fine flavor chocolate market in the US and Canada, experience conducting trainings, and experience developing cacao farming systems. The expected deliverables for this assignment are trainings of the managers and technicians at Reserva Zorzal, a trip report, a blog post, an outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.

Soil Health and Fertility Expert (Dominican Republic (April-June 2016: 2-3 weeks)

This F2F assignment will focus on working with small farmers on soil fertility and health for cacao production at Reserva Zorzal – a 1,019 acre bird sanctuary and organic cacao demonstration farm in the northern mountain range of the Dominican Republic. The purpose of this assignment is to improve the health of Reserva Zorzal’s existing cacao tree population through organic, low-cost and location appropriate methods. While they have a good understanding of the micro-nutrient composition of the soils, they want to better understand the interactions within the soil food web to better support the growth of newly planted cacao saplings. Reserva Zorzal is looking for a volunteer that shares their vision that healthy soil is the cornerstone to our entire conservation and production effort. They are looking for a volunteer who will work to encourage the presence and function of beneficial soil microbiology on their farm, and have the requisite technical and language skills to share that knowledge with farmers and technicians from surrounding communities. The volunteer should have at least conversational Spanish skills, have expertise in soil microbiology, the soil food web, biological nutrient cycling, pest and disease defense, practical application of soil microbiology, compost, balancing soil minerals, macro and micro nutrients, primary and secondary plant metabolites, nutrient density and plant immunity, and practical application of crop nutrition. The expected deliverables for this assignment are trainings of the managers and technicians at Reserva Zorzal, a trip report, a blog post, an outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.

Farm Administration Specialist (Dominican Republic (April-June 2016: 2-3 weeks)

A volunteer with experience in farm management is needed to train banana technicians and producers in how to improve techniques to manage small farms. Experience using existing resources (i.e., land, labor, and capital) to increase efficiency and productivity of a farm is needed. Experience with computer programs designed to help improve farm management and production/sales tracking/monitoring is also needed. Knowledge of Spanish is helpful but not required. The purpose of this assignment is to assess current farm administration procedures at two banana associations and train executives, producers, and technicians on the principles of good farm administration to enable them to make better use of their resources of land, labor, and capital and get the most benefit from their farms. The volunteer will visit small farms to identify current practices and then provide training on how to improve farm administration. The expected deliverables for this assignment are trainings and training materials on the above topics, a trip report, a blog post, an outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.

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.

 

GUATEMALA

Greenhouse Production Expert (Ornamental Plants, Flowers, and Foliage) (Guatemala, March-May 2016: 2-3 weeks)

F2F is seeking a professional with experience in greenhouse production and management, new greenhouse production techniques for ornamental plants, and foliage and flower farms. Experience with tropical and subtropical crops is desired. It is important that the selected volunteer is aware of innovative methods in greenhouse management and production for small and large producers of ornamental plants, foliage and flowers. The goal of this assignment is to teach ornamental plant producers about new greenhouse production and management methods. The methods currently used are out of date and do not take into consideration the different characteristics, needs, lifespans, and requirements of the different species produced by the farms in the sector. Therefore, the volunteer will assist producers in addressing their greenhouse production problems and provide techniques and recommendations to increase production. The hope is that these new techniques and processes will lead to increased sales revenue and increased exports for the producers. The producers have also asked that the volunteer provide information on ways to access new information (i.e., trends, technology, etc.) on greenhouse management and production so they can continue to learn after the assignment is over. The expected deliverables for this assignment are a manual of guidelines for greenhouse production, a trip report, at least one outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.

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.

Organic Horticulture and USDA Certification Expert (Guatemala, May-August 2016: 2-3 weeks)

The purpose of this assignment is to assist the host in identifying and taking next steps in the transition from conventional to organic farming. The volunteer will advise staff and producers on organic certification procedures for select vegetables in order to allow them to enter organic national and international markets, reduce dependence on conventional agriculture, and contribute to reducing the impact of agrochemicals in the environment. The volunteer should have expertise in USDA certified organic production, plant nutrition, composting, and soil conservation, as well as experience in the development and implementation of organic farming systems, knowledge of U.S. and European markets for organic products, and knowledge of methods for transitioning a farm from conventional to organic growing practices. At the end of the assignment, the host organizations will have a clearer path on how to begin the organic certification process and can begin with the installation of systems to produce organic inputs according to USDA standards. The expected deliverables for this project are farm visits, trainings on organic agriculture and the development of an organic management plan, a blog post, an outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Organic Compost and Vermiculture Expert (Guatemala, May-August 2016: 2-3 weeks)

The purpose of this assignment is to assist the host in producing their own organic compost and vermiculture on a commercial scale. The volunteer should have expertise in organic production, plant nutrition, composting, and soil conservation. As a result of this assignment, the host organizations will be able to produce organic compost and other inputs that will allow them to produce organic vegetables. Staff and producers will have greater knowledge of how to better use available natural resources to produce organic inputs, thereby conserving soil and the environment. The expected deliverables for this project are farm visits, assessment of current compost operations and available resources, trainings on organic compost methods and vermiculture, a manualon organic compost methods, a blog post, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Crowdfunding Specialist (Guatemala, May-September 2016: 2-3 weeks)

The purpose of this assignment is to train staff and members at the Federación Comercializadora de Café Especial de Guatemala (FECCEG) in designing and implementing crowdfunding campaigns to finance the start of operations and sales of their Kishé brand roasted coffee in the United States. FECCEG seeks to develop three crowdfunding campaigns that they will implement over the course of the following 12 months. At the end of the assignment, FECCEG will have greater knowledge on how to design and implement crowdfunding campaigns to raise awareness of their coffee brand in the United States and funds to make equipment purchases. By raising awareness of the coffee brand, FECCEG will be able to increase promotion of their product, thereby increasing sales and income. The volunteer for this project should have experience designing crowdfunding campaigns, knowledge of entities and electronic platforms for crowdfunding and digital fundraising, experience coordinating the preparation and content of graphic materials that support these campaigns, and be creative and innovative. The expected deliverables for the project are trainings in crowdfunding campaigns, a report on the anticipated results and impact of the campaign, a blog post, an outreach activity, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Oyster Mushroom Cultivation Expert (Guatemala May-September 2016: 2-3 weeks)

A specialist in evaluating procedures for cultivating oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreaus) on different substrates and in a laboratory setting is needed to evaluate current cultivation procedures used by oyster mushroom producers in Guatemala. Experience in assessing laboratory conditions, design, and maintenance is also needed in order to make recommendations for the management and maintenance of a laboratory that was recently built after the visit of two previous F2F volunteers. The purpose of the assignment is to assist the host organization so they can improve their inoculation practices, their production quality, and the quality of the substrate they use. They want to ensure they are producing mushrooms of optimal nutritional quality. The volunteer will also assess the current laboratory conditions and provide recommendations on how to improve it. At the end of this assignment, producers will have improved knowledge of management and use of the laboratory to ensure that it is being used at its full capacity and potential. Producers will also have improved capacity to implement low-cost production of mycelium, as well as greater knowledge of good agricultural and manufacturing practices in the production of oyster mushrooms. The expected deliverables for this assignment are trainings on lab maintenance and management and oyster mushroom cultivation and production, a manual on proper lab maintenance techniques, a blog post, 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

Ice Cream Processing Specialist (Nicaragua, January 2016: 2-3 weeks (17-31st preferred)):

A F2F volunteer is needed to hold workshops with dairy processors to begin or improve their current ice cream processing practices. The volunteer will also train processors how to ensure food safety and quality throughout the process. The ideal volunteer will have experience making artisanal ice cream, gelato, and/or other frozen dairy products and experience conducting workshops with adults of varying literacy levels. Spanish language skills and knowledge of processing other dairy products is preferred. The volunteer should be flexible and adaptable to working in different environments. The expected deliverables for the assignment are: workshops on ice cream processing, workshops on food quality and safety, a trip report, an outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.

Cheese Processing Expert (HACCP Specialist) (Nicaragua, February 2016 (8-22 preferred): 2-3 weeks)

A 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 right candidate for this assignment will have experience conducting workshops in and presentations on HACCP and experience making hard cheeses and conducting trainings on processing hard cheeses. It is preferred that the volunteer have basic Spanish skills, experience working in a developing country, and a degree in agriculture, agribusiness, or a related field. The expected deliverables for this assignment are: workshops and trainings on hard cheese processing and on HACCP principles, a trip report, an outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.

Artificial Insemination Bovine Specialist (Nicaragua, April 2016: 2-3 weeks)

An F2F volunteer is needed to train veterinarians and others stakeholders in the cattle industry in best practices regarding bovine artificial insemination. The volunteer will provide theoretical and practical hands-on trainings and workshops on artificial insemination. It is expected that at the end of the assignment the hosts will be able to properly artificially inseminate cows in the Quality Calf Production Project. The volunteer needs to have a graduate degree in veterinary medicine, animal science, or a related field, experience conducting workshops and trainings on artificial insemination, and conversational Spanish skills. The volunteer should be flexible and it is preferred the volunteer have experience working in developing countries. The expected deliverables for this assignment are workshops and trainings on artificial insemination in cattle, an outreach activity, a blog post, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

Embryo Transplant Bovine Specialist (Nicaragua, April 2016: 2-3 weeks)

An F2F volunteer is needed to train veterinarians and others stakeholders in the cattle industry in best practices regarding bovine embryo transplants. The volunteer will provide hands-on technical assistance and workshops transplant bovine embryos. Theoretical and practical workshops will include artificial insemination in cattle breeding, estrus synchronization, synchronization treatments, collection techniques, classification and embryo transfer. It is expected that at the end of the assignment workshop participants will be able to transplant bovine embryos. The volunteer needs to have a graduate degree in veterinary medicine, animal science, or a related field, experience conducting workshops and trainings on embryo transfers, experience in estrus synchronization for the implantation of embryos, and conversational Spanish skills. The volunteer should be flexible and it is preferred the volunteer have experience working in developing countries. The expected deliverables for this assignment are workshops and trainings on estrus synchronization and embryo transfer in cattle, an outreach activity, a blog post, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

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.

International Beef Market Specialist (Nicaragua, June 2016: 2-3 weeks)

An F2F volunteer is needed to train CONAGAN and CANICARNE officials regarding the demand and beef consumer preferences in the United States and Europe, clearly indicating the distinct differences between the consumers and markets in the two regions. Additionally, the volunteer will explain the current availability of Nicaraguan beef in those markets. The volunteer will deliver multiple presentations on the results of the research on topics including: consumer preferences, attributes of the product (select cuts, grade/quality), consumption habits, competition, packaging, certifications, labeling, etc. Based on Nicaragua’s beef, current capacity and availability of technologies, the volunteer will make recommendations about target markets and next steps. It is expected that at the end of the assignment the hosts will understand beef consumer preferences in order to target different export markets.  The volunteer for this project should have a solid understanding of beef consumer preferences in Europe and the US, experience in brokerage of meat and related products, a degree in agribusiness, food studies, food systems, culinary anthropology, or a related field is preferred. It is required that this volunteer speak Spanish. The expected deliverables for this project are a report on beef consumer preferences, consumption habits, and the market competition, presentations on these topics, a blog post, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.

 

FLEX

Retail Marketing Specialist (Colombia, April-June 2016, 2-4 weeks)

An F2F volunteer is needed to assist Zue, a natural cosmetic manufacturing company based in Cali, Colombia, in developing media, brand positioning, and marketing strategies for entry into U.S. retail stores. The volunteer will train Zue staff on key tips to increase brand promotion when selling in U.S. retail. The volunteer will also assist Zue in designing a road map for initial product positioning during its opening in August 2016 at Whole Foods Market, including recommendations on promotions and in-store demonstrations. The ideal volunteer will be a U.S. retail marketing specialist with experience in developing strategies for marketing and brand positioning of products un U.S. retail stores. It is required the volunteer have interest in natural and ethical products and knowledge of the beauty industry. It is preferred the volunteer have knowledge of the Whole Foods market, and the markets of other similar stores that Zue could target. The expected deliverables for this assignment are a marketing strategy for U.S. retail stores, guidelines for in-store product promotional strategies and demos, a manual on month-to-month brand operations management, an outreach activity, a blog post, 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.