Southern Africa Farmer-to-Farmer Launches Ambassador Program to Engage with Prospective Volunteers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program in Southern Africa and the Eastern European country of Moldova, which is implemented by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), is piloting a new Ambassador program aimed at increasing engagement in the United States in order to bolster the number of first-time volunteers.
The F2F program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), sends U.S. volunteer experts on overseas technical assignments to provide hands-on training to communities, cooperatives, agribusinesses, and educational institutions.
To support those efforts with new volunteers, CNFA’s Ambassador Program has appointed six veteran F2F volunteers to serve as Ambassadors in their professional and local communities, where they will offer outreach and information on the program to organizations and potential first-time participants.
“Our Ambassadors are enthusiastic volunteers who are dedicated to the F2F program. They will provide an extraordinary breadth of knowledge and depth of experience with Farmer-to-Farmer to enhance our outreach efforts,” said Marjatta Eilittä, Director, Farmer-to-Farmer Program, CNFA. “Their contributions will highlight the program’s impact to a wider audience and build the confidence of potential volunteers.”
The Ambassadors include Andrew Clark, a retired state veterinarian from Oregon; Lani Jordan, an organizational communications consultant from Minnesota; Dan Miller, an environmental scientist from West Virginia; Usha Palaniswamy, an educational executive from New York; Charles Williams, an agricultural consultant and farmer from North Carolina; and Marilyn Phillips, a marketing consultant from Minnesota.
CNFA-implemented F2F projects are currently active in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Moldova. This five-year program (2018-2023) will connect approximately 400 mid- to senior-level U.S. volunteers to farmer groups, agribusinesses, and other agriculture sector institutions in those countries for two- to four-week assignments. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. volunteers currently implement these assignments virtually.
In addition to facilitating information exchange and knowledge sharing between experts and their host organizations, the people-to-people approach of the program leverages citizen diplomacy to establish lifelong international connections among agricultural peers.
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.