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 Nicaragua, Guatemala, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as well as select other countries. Farmer-to-Farmer recruits experienced agriculturalists who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents to complete short-term assignments (15-day minimum stay; trips are generally 2–3 weeks). 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.
The objective of our Farmer-to-Farmer program in the Dominican Republic is to increase the resilience of vulnerable populations to the unpredictable impacts of global climate change. We are looking for experts in a variety of fields such as:
- Soil and water conservation
- Solid waste management
- Pest and disease management of bananas
- Irrigation technologies for banana sector
- Alternative energy (i.e., wind, solar)
- Environmental education
- Greenhouse management and production
If you have experience in those areas and are interested in possible future assignments, please let us know.
Ice Cream Processing Specialist (Nicaragua, January 2016: 2-3 weeks (17-31st preferred)):
An 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.
Advertising Specialist (Nicaragua, February 2016: 2-3 weeks (1-21st preferred)):
An F2F volunteer is needed to work with the National Cattleman’s Commission (CONAGAN), the Nicaraguan Chamber of Beef Industry Exports (CANICARNE), and the Nicaraguan Dairy Chamber (CANISLAC) to develop messages, materials, and propaganda to support the current dairy and meat campaigns. The materials will also be used for the upcoming Nicaraguan Dairy Congress. The volunteer for this assignment should have experience developing advertising and marketing campaigns and some graphic design experience. A graduate degree in marketing, business, or a related field as well as Spanish language abilities and knowledge of dairy and meat markets are preferred. The expected deliverables for this assignment are: propaganda for the dairy and meat campaign, propaganda for the dairy congress, a trip report, and outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.
Graphic Designer (Nicaragua, Long-Term: 1-3 months (January-March preferred)):
An F2F volunteer is needed to work with the National Cattleman’s Commission (CONAGAN), the Nicaraguan Chamber of Beef Industry Exports (CANICARNE), the Nicaraguan Dairy Chamber (CANISLAC), and the Nicaraguan Institute for Development (INDE) to develop messages, materials, and propaganda to support the current dairy and meat campaigns. This volunteer should have extensive graphic design experience that includes experience designing logos and banners and developing advertising and marketing campaigns. Experience working with the dairy and meat markets is preferred and so is Spanish language fluency. The volunteer needs to have personal access to the appropriate graphic design software as the field team cannot provide it. The expected deliverables for this assignment are: propaganda for the dairy and meat campaign, a trip report, an outreach activity, and recommendations for further work. This assignment is long-term so that the volunteer can see through the development of the branding campaign for these industries before heading back to the states.
Cheese Processing Expert (HACCP Specialist) (Nicaragua, February 2016 (8-22 preferred): 2-3 weeks)
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 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.
Meat Scientist I (Beef Carcass Evaluator) (Nicaragua, March 2016 (6-20 preferred): 2-3 weeks)
An F2F volunteer is needed to provide technical assistance to train slaughterhouse workers in the beef industry to identify different characteristics of carcasses and evaluate whether they are low, medium, or premium grade. The F2F volunteer will work with The National Cattleman’s Commission of Nicaragua (CONAGAN) and Nicaraguan Chamber of Beef Industry Exports (CANICARNE) to establish a carcass quality regulation system to ultimately improve the beef quality and make Nicaragua more competitive in premium beef export markets. It is expected that at the end of the assignment, slaughterhouse workers will be able to competently evaluate and grade beef carcasses as low, medium, or premium grade. The ideal volunteer for this assignment will have experience evaluating and grading beef for the USDA or a similar institution, experience conducting workshops and presentations on beef carcass evaluation and grading, and experience with USDA’s beef grading system. 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 the evaluation and quality grading of beef carcasses, a trip report, an outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.
Meat Scientist II (Beef Grading Specialist) (Nicaragua, March 2016 (6-20 preferred): 2-3 weeks)
An F2F volunteer is needed to work with The National Cattleman’s Commission of Nicaragua (CONAGAN) and Nicaraguan Chamber of Beef Industry Exports (CANICARNE) to develop new carcass quality norms and regulations to ultimately improve the beef quality and make Nicaragua more competitive in premium beef export markets. Meatpacking house workers will be trained by another F2F volunteers to evaluate and classify the carcasses according to the newly developed standards. This grading system will be used in Nicaragua’s new beef export campaign. It is expected that at the end of the assignment, there will be clear standards for beef quality grading in Nicaragua. The ideal volunteer for this assignment will have experience evaluating and grading beef for the USDA or a similar institution, experience conducting workshops and presentations on beef carcass evaluation and grading, and experience with USDA’s beef grading system. 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 main deliverable for this assignment is the development of a beef grading system for the Nicaraguan beef industry. The system should indicate classifications and their corresponding grades. The other expected deliverables for this assignment are: workshops and trainings on the evaluation and quality grading of beef carcasses, a trip report, an outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.
Apple and Stone Fruit Specialist (Guatemala, November 2015-February 2016: 2-4 weeks)
A deciduous fruit specialist with experience addressing production problems caused by late frost and hail, is needed to train apple, peach, and plum producers in techniques and/or active methods to reduce damage from weather and climatic variations. The purpose of the assignment is to train deciduous fruit technicians and farmers on methods and/or techniques to protect plants from damage caused by late frost and hail. Methods could include temperature prediction, weather modification (i.e., fans, heaters, ice nucleating active bacteria, cold air drainage, and microclimates), etc. The expected deliverables for the assignment are: a manual on methods and/or low-cost techniques for freeze protection and weather modification to prevent damage from late frosts and other climate-related problems on deciduous fruit trees, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.
Liquid Compost and Fertilizer Expert (Guatemala, November 2015-February 2016: 2-3 weeks)
An expert in liquid compost and fertilizer with experience using goat urine to make liquid fertilizer or compost is needed to teach technicians in the proper storage and use of goat urine to make liquid fertilizer or compost. The focus of this assignment relates to the use and optimization of the byproducts of goat production, namely goat urine. Technicians at CEPROCAL will be trained in developing liquid fertilizer and compost using goat urine that they can then teach to rural families and beneficiaries of the program to use for the production of vegetables and other crops to supplement and diversify the family diet. At the end of the assignment, CEPROCAL technicians will have learned techniques and methods to use goat urine in the production of liquid fertilizer and compost. They also will know appropriate methods for the application of the compost on crops and proper storage of the goat urine and compost. The expected deliverables other than the training are a trip report and recommendations for further work to be turned in upon completion of the assignment.
Post-Harvest Fruit Handling Expert (Guatemala, December 2015-March 2016: 2-3 weeks)
F2F is seeking an expert agronomist who can train producers in new and improved techniques for deciduous fruit post-harvest handling and storage. The main purpose of this assignment is to train technicians and farmers at The National Association of Deciduous Fruit Producers (ANAPDE) on methods and/or related technologies and procedures used in post-harvest handling and storage of deciduous fruits. Farmers and technicians are interested in learning techniques involved in handling these products, as well as gaining a greater understanding of the physiological features of the fruit as it matures and before it is served as food in order to best ensure that it is picked, processed, and stored in such a manner that it best preserves its quality. Participants in these trainings will include all those who have some responsibility in the management of deciduous fruits, including farmers, technical personnel responsible for collection and storage centers, and extension agents in charge of training programs in the area. By training the team of researchers, planners, and farmers at ANAPDE to improve techniques and procedures currently used in the handling and storage of agricultural products, this will help reduce the substantial post-harvest food losses in collection centers and packing that are needed to maintain the quality and safety of fresh deciduous fruit and processed. The expected deliverables are: a manual on methods and/or related technologies and procedures used in harvesting, processing and storage of fruits and pests that attack them, methods for control and quality factors involved in their management techniques and marketing, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.
Apple and Stone Fruit Grafting/Nursery Specialist (Guatemala, December 2015-March 2016: 2-3 weeks)
F2F is seeking an agronomist with experience in grafting who is familiar with different fruit varieties and cultivars. The volunteer should have knowledge of new and improved varieties of deciduous and stone-fruit species that are adaptable to the ecological conditions of Guatemala as well as knowledge of new and improved varieties of rootstock suitable for deciduous and stone fruit the agro-ecological conditions of Guatemala. The purpose of the assignment is to train local extension agents, researchers and farmers at ANAPDE in grafting and other plant propagation methods to increase quantity and quality of apples, plums, and peaches per unit area. The volunteer will also provide information regarding new varieties and high-quality cultivars. Farmers are specifically interested in cultivars that will allow them to produce the most fruit in the smallest possible area of land and, if possible, will help improve plant resistance or tolerance to damage from pests and diseases, drought, heat, cold, wind or other negative factors. The hope is that at the end of the assignment, researchers, planners, and farmers at The National Association of Deciduous Fruit Producers (ANAPDE) will have greater understanding of the different varieties (a list will be provided) of apples and stone fruits that can help to stabilize production and improve plant resistance/tolerance to damage from pests and diseases, drought, and other factors that may cause fluctuations in yield. The expected deliverables for the assignments are trainings and manuals on the aforementioned topics, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.
Peach Extension Specialist (Guatemala, December 2015-February 2016: 2-3 weeks)
F2F is seeking an extension specialist with expertise in the cultivation, maintenance, and production of peaches. More specifically, the volunteer should have experience with planting peach trees, pruning, fumigation, conducting soil studies, and post-harvest management of peaches. The purpose of the assignment is to train farmers on the proper pruning of trees and good agricultural practices (GAPs) in the production of peaches to ensure the quality of production complies with national and international market requirements. Trainings on post-harvest processing are also desirable, if time permits. The volunteer will strengthen the capacity of production staff to prune trees and implement GAPs, thereby improving their production. The host is also interested in resources and training materials that will allow them to be able to replicate trainings to train others. The expected deliverables for the assignment are a manual on GAPs and pruning techniques for peaches that the staff can then use to train others, a trip report, and recommendations for further work.
Market Analysis and Product Marketing Expert (Guatemala, December 2015-March 2016: 2-3 weeks)
An expert marketing specialist with experience positioning products into fair trade markets is needed. F2F is looking for a volunteer with a market analysis background combined with product marketing experience. The volunteer should have experience studying local markets and then designing marketing strategies based on the results of their study. Having specific market study and marketing experience with food crops and food products is preferred. Currently the host for this assignment, Union Hope Women’s Group, is at an ideal stage to enhance the marketing of its peanut products nationwide. They have been processing peanuts using the same basic practices for 10 years. However, now the demand for their product has grown. The volunteer will advise the group of 30 to 40 women currently engaged in peanut processing on how to find the best markets for their products and to how enter into these new markets. The volunteer will then help the group market their products accordingly so they can be successful in the new markets. The goal is to help these women sell more of their products at the best prices in the market and thus increase their income. The expected deliverables for this assignment are: information on new markets to enter, a guide on procedures and recommendations for marketing their products, a diagram of the marketing channel for their products, a trip report, an outreach activity, and recommendations for further work to be completed before returning to the states.
Expert in Coffee Roasting Machinery (Guatemala, December 2015-March 2016: 2-3 weeks)
F2F is seeking a professional with experience roasting, grinding, and packaging coffee. The volunteer needs to have particular expertise in roasting machinery and other equipment, knowledge of coffee tasting, and roasting methods that result in higher quality coffee. Knowledge of good manufacturing practices (GMP) is preferred. The purpose of this assignment is to assist the host, ASDECOHUE, with their current coffee roasting processes and machinery. ASDECOHUE has the necessary machinery for roasting but lacks the technical skills to use the roaster to differentiate roasting points. ASDECOHUE also has some doubts about the efficiency and quality of the processes they currently use. Therefore, they are looking for a volunteer who will help train them to properly use the machinery as well as provide training on the best practices for coffee roasting that will ensure a higher quality product. The hope is that at the end of the assignment, ASDECOHUE will have a better understanding of how to properly use their coffee roaster machinery to get the best possible roast. The expected deliverables for this assignment are: trainings and manuals on how to use their roasting equipment, how to get different qualities of roasts on their equipment, and how to taste and cup their coffee; a trip report; an outreach activity; and recommendations for further work to be completed before returning to the states.
Oyster Mushroom Production Specialist (Guatemala, January-February 2016: 2-3 weeks)
F2F is seeking a specialist with experience in the production of mycelium to grow oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreaus) and with experience cultivating oyster mushrooms on different substrates. Experience in strain management, developing value-added mushroom products, post-handling practices, and management of pests and fungal diseases is also desired. The goal of this assignment is to increase the productivity of oyster mushrooms. This is necessary because it is a product that currently has a higher demand in the local market. Farmers are interested in implementing new production techniques and seed selection practices such as: Inoculating oyster mushroom mycelium on different substrates for production, improving the quality of the production process as well as increasing production per module, evaluating the quality of the substrate used in the production process to ensure the nutritional quality of the mushrooms produced, and improving waste management in the production of oyster mushrooms. The hope is that the host association members will better be able to implement low-cost production of mycelium that is then sold or delivered to producing partners. Trained farmers will also have greater knowledge of good agricultural and manufacturing practices in the production and packaging of oyster mushrooms. Farmers will also have the capacity to improve the infrastructure of their productive units and will have improved waste management practices. The deliverables for the assignment are: a manual on the production processes for oyster mushroom mycelium, a guide on meeting the GAP and GMP protocols for oyster mushroom production, a manual on waste management in oyster mushroom production, and trainings on pest and disease management for oyster mushroom cultivation and postharvest handling procedures. The volunteer will also need to turn in a trip report and recommendations for further work upon completion of the assignment.
Agribusiness Administration and Business Planning Specialist (Colombia, February 2016: 2-4 weeks)
The goal of this assignment is for the volunteer to contribute their technical expertise to help train teachers and students in how to make a good business plan. The hope is that the volunteer will give the trainees the skills and tools needed to identify and act on value-added opportunities in the agricultural sector that will correspond with the business plans they create. The hope is that all of the business plans they come up with will contribute to the development of the more rural areas in the country. After the assignment, participants will have a greater understanding of how to develop a business plan. They will have new methodologies in place to create business plans for the agriculture and livestock sectors. Participants will have participated in “train the trainer” activities to create business plans. Students will also have received practical training in doing seed research in agricultural business planning and business modeling with an emphasis on family farming practices. The ideal candidate for this assignment should have experience in management and administration, specifically in the agricultural sector, knowledge and experience in creating business plans, experience working in developing rural communities, knowledge of types of business models specific to rural areas, and proficiency in Spanish. The expected deliverables for this assignment are: an analysis and overview of current agricultural sector business models, a proposed methodology for generated added value through improved business plans, trainings for teachers and students in the community in business planning, a trip report, at least one outreach activity, and recommendations for further work.