CNFA Appoints Lt. Gen John Castellaw as New Board of Directors Member

CNFA Appoints Lt. Gen John Castellaw as New Board of Directors Member

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: CNFA, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture, an international agricultural development organization, announced that Lt. Gen John Castellaw, USMC (Ret.) has been appointed to join the CNFA Board of Directors.

Castellaw is Chief Executive Officer of Farmspace Systems LLC., a drone-based precision agriculture data collection company he co-founded following a 36-year career in U.S. Marine Corps aviation. Castellaw, who concluded his military career as Deputy Commandant for Programs and Resources at the Pentagon, participated in a range of humanitarian operations in Africa, Asia and Europe, including serving with the United Nations during the siege of Sarajevo, and commanding the U.S. force in a multinational security and stability operation in East Timor.

“John adds an important new dimension to the CNFA Board,” said CNFA Chair of the Board Elin D. Miller. “As a recognized national security expert as well as an agricultural technology entrepreneur, John has a unique combination of skills and experience that will prove extremely valuable to our organization as we grow our work in increasingly complex environments around the world.”

Castellaw serves on the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s National Security Advisory Council, and works with a number of other Washington, D.C.-based security organizations, including the Nuclear Security Working Group, the American Security Project and the Climate Security Working Group. He also serves as a consultant on food insecurity’s impact on global security, recently testifying before a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee.

“John has a deep understanding not only of the critical interrelationship of food security and global security—but also of the crucial role that access to food plays in the economic and social stability of less-developed nations and regions,” said CNFA President & Chief Executive Officer Sylvain Roy. “John understands the private sector’s important role in providing the knowledge and technology necessary to increase agricultural productivity and economic prosperity. His combined expertise in these two areas meshes perfectly with CNFA’s mission to use market-driven approaches to bring sustainable agricultural development to underserved regions of the world.”

“CNFA’s entrepreneurship-based model provides a practical, common-sense approach to international development,” Castellaw said. “I look forward to working with the CNFA Board of Directors to expand and grow the use of this approach to bolster the economic and social well-being of the world’s farmers.”

CNFA: Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture, an international agricultural development organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. with offices in 17 countries, specializes in designing sustainable, market-led agricultural initiatives. CNFA builds strong local and global partnerships, incorporates innovative approaches in its programs, and fosters inclusive development to offer enhanced opportunities to under-served groups.


Ed Keturakis: Increasing Agricultural Quality and Efficiency through Technology at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Food Forward Summit

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On October 10, CNFA’s Vice President of Program Development Ed Keturakis spoke about increasing agricultural quality and efficiency through technology at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Food Forward summit. Watch his full presentation by scrolling down to the webcast on the Food Forward official page here.

CNFA’s Ed Keturakis speaks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Food Forward Summit.

A Legacy of Leadership: Commemorating Rick Reising

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CNFA mourns the passing of Rick Reising, a key contributor to CNFA during his more than decade of service as a member of the CNFA Board of Directors. Rick was that rare individual who, through a combination of dedicated service and strong commitment, selflessly applied his professional talents to improve the lives of others, not only through CNFA, but also through the many other civic and charitable organizations to which he contributed his time and effort. By sharing his enviable knowledge and experience in law, agribusiness and investment banking with CNFA during this period of exceptional growth and change, Rick helped to transform CNFA into the robust, vibrant organization it is today. Rick’s legacy of leadership lives on though his contributions to CNFA, and his work continues to improve the lives of tens of thousands of individuals around the world.

CNFA-Implemented Cocoa Project to Ink Memorandum of Understanding With Fine Chocolate Industry Association

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CNFA, FCIA to join efforts to boost quality of Côte d’Ivoire cocoa, increase farmer incomes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On June 30, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development organization, announced that the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA) and the Maximizing Opportunities in Cocoa Activity (MOCA) project, implemented by CNFA, will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at FCIA’s annual meeting on June 30, 2018.

MOCA, a project funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food for Progress program and implemented by CNFA, provides capacity-building, training and other support services to Côte d’Ivoire cocoa producers, cooperatives and exporters with the aim of improving the supply of high-quality cacao beans and improving farm incomes.

FCIA, whose members focus on the production of premium chocolate and encourage utilizing the best practices in cocoa production and processing, will collaborate with MOCA to support the project through its membership activities.

“This collaboration enhances the individual efforts of MOCA and FCIA to improve the efficiency of the cocoa value chain in Côte d’Ivoire,” said CNFA President and Chief Executive Officer Sylvain Roy. “FCIA’s counsel will help farmers and businesses refine their production to meet the needs of the fine chocolate market—and MOCA’s training and guidance will improve the crop quality, processing, post-harvest handling and market linkages necessary to produce those high-quality products and get them to market.”

“This memorandum of understanding establishes a strong mutual bond between two parties who share a keen interest in cultivating the finest, high-quality cocoa,” said FCIA President Clark Guittard. “Through our new relationship with MOCA, our organization gains an informed, on-the-ground presence in the world’s leading cocoa-producing region.

The main thrust of the three-year MOCA program is to increase the productivity and efficiency of stakeholders in Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa value chain in order to boost the quality of crops, expand cocoa trade and ultimately improve the incomes and livelihoods of cocoa farmers.

“This MOU will provide added impetus to the most important goal of the MOCA initiative,” Roy said, “and that is to generate better incomes for the 600,000 smallholder farmers and families in Côte d’Ivoire who produce more than a third of the world’s cocoa supply—but live on less than $2 a day.”


CNFA: Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture, an international agricultural development organization, specializes in designing sustainable, market-led agricultural initiatives.  CNFA builds strong local and global partnerships, incorporates innovative approaches in its programs, and fosters inclusive development to offer enhanced opportunities to under-served groups.  Since 1985, CNFA has managed more than $600 million in donor-funded agriculture development programs and has worked in 44 countries across the world in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latina America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia.

FCIA: The Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA) is the only organization focused 100% on supporting fine chocolate professionals. it promotes the artistry and craftsmanship of the chocolate professional focused on producing superior products made from premium chocolate and natural ingredients. It believes in using best practices in cacao processing and chocolate production; and transparent labeling and marketing practices.  FCIA’s mission is to promote quality, innovations, ethical sourcing, and best practices in the fine chocolate industry from tree to bar and bonbon.  This can be achieved by communicating with consumers, educating chocolate professionals, helping define standards, and building partnerships to strengthen the value chain while preserving fine cacao varieties.

Trécé Event Highlights Economic Importance of International Development

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Georgian Ambassador, USAID officials attend groundbreaking for new plant

ADAIR, OKLA.—Trécé Inc., a leading American manufacturer of insect monitoring systems and pheromones, welcomed U.S. and international dignitaries to celebrate corporate expansion activities closely linked to company’s growing international development efforts.

The event at Trécé’s facility in Adair, Okla., which also hosted members of state and local government and academia, included a groundbreaking ceremony for a new plant, ribbon cutting ceremony of a new office building, and a plant and lab tour.

“This event comes in large part thanks to revenue Trécé received from our participation in a U.S. Agency for International Development project in the Republic of Georgia,” said Bill Lingren, Trécé owner and founder. “This project is generating benefits on two sides of the world: It is helping thousands of smallholder farmers in Georgia combat a serious infestation by the brown marmorated stinkbug (BMSB)—as well as providing significant returns for Trécé, our employees and their communities.”

Trécé’s involvement in Georgia originally stemmed from the purchase and deployment of tens of thousands of the company’s BMSB lures and traps by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international development organization implementing a USAID project in that country. Since that time, Trécé has expanded its role in international development. In March, for example, Trécé organized and independently sponsored a team of U.S.-based scientists to travel to Georgia with Trécé’s own scientists to study the BMSB infestation, which is attacking many of the country’s orchard and field crops.

USAID Assistant Administrator Brock Bierman, who also attended the event, noted the important role the private sector plays in international development efforts.

“Trécé is proud that its products are being used in a project to protect Georgia’s hazelnut sector, as well as other key crops such as grapes, corn, peaches, apples and vegetables,” Lingren said. “And we also are proud of the economic benefits this project is generating closer to home—which are particularly important to U.S. companies in rural areas. In this case, our success in rural Georgia is supporting good-paying jobs in rural Oklahoma.”


About Trécé Incorporated:  Trécé is a market-driven organization focused on customer needs, growing through development, manufacturing and marketing of insect pheromone and kairomone-based products, which benefit food production and the environment, while creating net economic welfare for its customers, company employees, local and global communities.  The Trécé product catalog currently contains over 150 species-specific, pheromone and/or kairomone-based kits, attractants and lures, a full line of trap models designed for a wide variety of flying and crawling insect pests that attack growing agriculture and post-harvest stored ag crops.  These products are marketed under two internationally respected brand names, PHEROCON® and STORGARD®.  Furthermore, Trécé created, registered and markets a line of insect control products under the brand name, CIDETRAK®, for orchard and vine crops and protection of post-harvest stored ag products in the commodity, food processing and retail segments of the industry.

From left: Georgian Ambassador to the U.S., Brock Bierman (Assistant Administrator to USAID Europe), CNFA’s Ed Katurakis (VP New Business Development at CNFA), and Bill Lingren (CEO of Trece).




Remembering Frank C. Carlucci

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CNFA mourns the passing of friend and colleague Frank C. Carlucci, who passed away on June 4, 2018. Carlucci, who served his country as a Foreign Service officer, National Security Advisor and Secretary of Defense, played an instrumental role in the founding of CNFA in 1985. Carlucci shared his deep reserve of international experience with CNFA during his 15 years of service with our organization, including as CNFA chairman. We will forever be grateful for his passion and commitment to peace and prosperity, which characterized his long career, and which lives on at CNFA today.

USAID Launches Hinga Weze – A New 28 Billion RWF Agricultural Growth Project Nyamata

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Nyamata—On April 26th, 2018 the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a new 28 Billion RWF project to support agricultural growth and resiliency across Rwanda. The project, called Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze, will be implemented over five years in 10 districts across Rwanda.

Hinga Weze will work directly with over 200,000 farmers. The project will help them grow at least 50 percent more crops on the same amount of land by promoting sustainable use of fertilizers, improved seeds, watering practices and more. With more crops per hectare, farmers will have more money and greater food security.

Hinga Weze will also provide pest management training to help farmers combat the invasive Fall Armyworm pest. The project will also bolster the resilience of Rwanda’s agricultural sector to a changing climate. By the end of the project, over 600 new hectares of farmland will be fitted with new irrigation infrastructure.

The new USAID-funded project will also improve the nutrition of hundreds of thousands of pregnant women and young children across Rwanda, who are vulnerable to stunting. That’s because Hinga Weze will partially focus on the cultivation of highly nutritious foods, such as orange fleshed sweet potatoes and high-iron beans, and will train families and communities on preparing nutritious meals.

The project launch in Bugasera District was attended by the U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda, Peter Vrooman, the Minister of State in Charge of Agriculture, Fulgence Nsengiyumva, other Government of Rwanda representatives, agribusinesses, farmers and others.

The main guests participated in a feeding session for children together with nutrition health workers, after taking part in the symbolic revealing of the five value chains supported by Hinga Weze – maize, high-iron beans, Irish potatoes, orange-fleshed beans and horticulture. The guests later toured an exhibition of farm input and post-harvest handling equipment and bi-products displayed by agrodealers and agro-importers and other Hinga Weze partners.

In a call to action message, Ambassador Vrooman urged Hinga Weze to provide a lasting solution to farmers, highlighting fall army worm as a major threat to agriculture productivity. His words came after the main guests were guided through a demonstration on how to identify fall army worm (FAW) pest. Hinga Weze will provide pest management training to as part of the campaign to combat the invasive pest. So far Hinga Weze has already identified about 365 hectares affected by FAW in its districts of interventions.

Hinga Weze will be implemented in the following 10 districts: Gatsibo, Kayonza, Bugesera, Ngoma, Nyabihu, Rutsiro, Ngororero, Nyamasheke, Karongi, and Nyamagabe.














US Ambassador Vrooman and Agriculture State Minister during the display of Hinga Weze supported crops.


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the foreign assistance agency of the United States Government.
USAID supports $129 million of development assistance annually to Rwanda, with programs in health, economic development, education,
and democracy and governance.

CNFA and Trécé Join Forces to Protect Georgian Hazelnut Crop

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Conference to bring together scientists from both nations to combat BMSB infestation

WASHINGTON, DC, AND ADAIR, OK— Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development non-profit organization, and Trécé Inc., a leading American manufacturer of insect monitoring systems and pheromones, announced they will convene a one-week mission beginning March 5, 2018 aimed at improving efforts to combat the brown marmorated stinkbug (BMSB) infestation that threatens hazelnuts and other crops in western regions of the country of Georgia.

The mission will be conducted in Georgia with the joint support of Trécé and Restoring Efficiency to Agriculture Production (REAP), a five-year, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) project implemented by CNFA that harnesses private investment and technical assistance to improve rural livelihoods through enterprise development.

The primary objective of the mission is to develop better ways to manage the pest on the 75,000 hectares of hazelnuts grown by 60,000—mostly small—growers, as well as in citrus orchards and cornfields farmed by the country’s smallholders.

To that end, scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and three U.S. universities will travel to Georgia to meet with Georgian counterparts, exchange knowledge and expertise, and participate in field visits to several regions that were severely affected by BMSB in 2017. A conference slated to convene March 8, 2018 will provide a forum to encourage knowledge-sharing.

“This mission epitomizes the kind of public-private cooperation that we at CNFA rely on to support our mission,” said CNFA President and CEO Sylvain Roy. “It is gratifying to see partners like Trécé go the extra distance to contribute to our efforts to improve the agricultural and technical skills of our clients.”

CNFA, which has directed the REAP project in Georgia since 2013, last year selected Trécé to provide two large shipments of its PHEROCON® insect kits (lures and traps) to protect Georgia’s hazelnut sector and safeguard other key agricultural products. The project was expanded last year in response to the infestation.

Trécé CEO and founder, Bill Lingren will travel to Georgia to take an active role in the mission.

“Trécé is pleased to help pave the way for scientists from both countries to join together to observe this infestation on site, gather new information, and develop better ways to fight this pest,” Lingren said. “By partnering to fine-tune and improve the ways we combat BMSB, Trécé is not only helping protect Georgian farmers and their crops, but also improving our own technology and our technical approaches, which ultimately benefits our business, our employees, and the communities who depend on us.”

Assistant Administrator for USAID’s Bureau for Europe and Eurasia Mr. Brock Bierman, visited USAID / REAP Georgia supported Drying Facility Farconi, LTD.

CNFA Volunteer Wayne Burleson Named VEGA 2017 Volunteer of The Year

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Congressional Leaders Join VEGA, CNFA and USAID leadership on Capitol Hill

Washington, D.C. CNFA Vice President of New Business Development Ed Keturakis with Wayne and Connie Burleson on Capitol Hill

— On December 5—International Volunteer Day—Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) presented the 2017 Volunteer of the Year Award to USAID Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) volunteer and Montana farmer Wayne Burleson.

Burleson, who has volunteered nine times with CNFA (Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture), an international agricultural development organization, was recognized for his support of the F2F program over the past decade, as well as his innovations in soil management and their impact on smallholder farmers worldwide.

“Wayne’s enthusiasm for bringing the successful techniques developed on his own Montana farm to Southern Africa is an example of why the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer program is so successful,” said CNFA President & CEO Sylvain Roy. “When we can teach others the same techniques we trust here at home, people recognize that we want to give them a hand up, not a hand out. This is a powerful message for global development and is precisely why CNFA has been a dedicated partner of the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer program since 1991.”

At an event held on Capitol Hill, CNFA Vice President of New Business Development Ed Keturakis and Farmer-to-Farmer Program Director Margaret Anderson joined Burleson and a broad spectrum of U.S. volunteers, bipartisan congressional champions, USAID leadership and experts from the private sector to recognize and discuss the important contributions of volunteers to effective U.S. global development.

During his various assignments, Burleson was supported by USAID and CNFA to administer targeted trainings to farmers that incorporated both agricultural theory and hands-on experience. Burleson’s lessons included methods to identify and sustain soil health, planting bed construction, seed sowing, composting “born-again soils,” organic control of pests and diseases and post-harvest handling of fruits and vegetables. These are all critical processes, for which most modern techniques have yet to reach the locations where Burleson volunteered, where even small improvements can have a significant impact in boosting farm productivity and food security.

“I wanted to teach anyone, anywhere in the world, that if you can change the soils and transform them into “born-again soils,” you have the power to grow life-healing food faster, tastier and stronger than ever before,” said Burleson.

Over the years, Burleson has received praise from country directors and farmers that worked with him, often inspiring others to pass on his agricultural techniques to other communities – long after the conclusion of any one F2F assignment.

This year VEGA awarded six USAID Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers its 2017 Volunteer of The Year honor. The awardees hailed from California, Massachusetts, Montana, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin respectively.

CNFA: Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture, an international agricultural development organization, specializes in designing sustainable, market-led agricultural initiatives.  CNFA builds strong local and global partnerships, incorporates innovative approaches in its programs, and fosters inclusive development to offer enhanced opportunities to under-served groups.  Since 1985, CNFA has managed more than $600 million in donor-funded agriculture development programs and has worked in 45 countries across the world in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia.


CNFA VP of New Business Development Ed Keturakis (left) poses with Wayne and Connie Burleson at the VEGA Volunteer of the Year award ceremony on Capitol Hill.