Southern Africa and Moldova Farmer-to-Farmer Expands Ambassador Program
The USAID-funded Southern Africa and Moldova Farmer-to-Farmer Program (F2F) is building on its successful Ambassador Program to increase F2F’s visibility in communities around the U.S. and draw new volunteers to the program.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the success of its pilot Ambassador Program, the USAID-funded John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter F2F Program, implemented by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) in Southern Africa and Moldova, introduced its second cohort of F2F Ambassadors. Launched in 2021, the Ambassador Program leverages the expertise of seasoned F2F volunteers to network, engage and encourage individuals and organizations in their communities to join the F2F Program.
“F2F Ambassadors bring extensive technical expertise in topics ranging from agronomy and veterinary medicine to business development, finance, education, communications and marketing, and are thereby able to reach diverse networks of potential volunteers,” said Marjatta Eilittä, Program Director of the CNFA-implemented F2F.
The first Ambassador cohort included six volunteers from Oregon, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina and West Virginia. The five new Ambassadors are: Wayne Burleson, a Montana-based Extension Master Gardener and 2017 F2F Volunteer of the Year with 14 years of F2F volunteer experience; Brent Van Dyke, a farmer and past president at the National Association of Conservation Districts from New Mexico who has volunteered with F2F since 1997; Ann Young, a Minnesota-based accounting and finance specialist who has volunteered with F2F since 2008; Dr. William “Bill” Hitz, a Delaware-based agriculture professional with 36 years of experience at DuPont and DuPont/Pioneer and five years of experience as a CNFA volunteer; and Louise Swartzwalder, a journalist and food entrepreneur from Ohio who has volunteered with F2F since 1996.
“Ambassadors have in-depth experience providing volunteer technical assistance to host organizations across the globe, making them ideal messengers to increase F2F’s visibility and support prospective volunteers seeking to join the program,” said Nadejda Mocanu, CNFA’s F2F Country Director in Moldova, who helps coordinate the Ambassador Program with Godfrey Nehanda, CNFA’s F2F Country Director in Zimbabwe.
Through the Ambassador Program, F2F volunteers engage in outreach efforts within their professional and local communities, encouraging and supporting prospective volunteers to apply for their first assignments. The five new Ambassadors will also expand the program’s network into four additional U.S. states (Montana, Delaware, Ohio and New Mexico), strengthening its reach from five to nine states.
CNFA currently implements the F2F Program in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Moldova. The five-year program (2018-2023) aims to connect mid-to senior-level U.S. volunteer experts with farmer groups, agribusinesses, trade associations, agricultural finance providers and other agriculture sector institutions to facilitate sustainable improvements in food security and agricultural processing, production and marketing.
Experts interested in volunteering for F2F can visit CNFA’s Volunteer page here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The U.S. Agency for International Development administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.
About CNFA: Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) is an international agricultural development organization that specializes in the design and implementation of sustainable, enterprise-based agricultural initiatives. We work with businesses, foundations, governments, and communities to build customized local and global partnerships that meet the world’s growing demand for food. Since our inception in 1985, we have designed and implemented enterprise-based, agricultural development initiatives to facilitate market access, enhance agribusiness competitiveness, increase productivity, and improve access to inputs and financing in 47 countries around the world.