International Opportunities

Farmer-to-Farmer Volunteer Program at NFU/NCBA.

Overview


farmer-to-farmer-picAt both the state and national level, Farmers Union leaders have a rich history in working with like-minded groups on overseas projects. We have an excellent opportunity to build on this tradition. Working with the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA), National Farmers Union (NFU) is ready to send a new crop of leaders to Africa. The Farmer-to-Farmer Program sends American farmers and agribusiness professionals to participate in 2-3 week agricultural development projects in Senegal and Niger. The Program is sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development. The Farmer-to-Farmer Program promotes sustainable economic growth and agricultural development worldwide. Volunteer technical assistance from U.S. farmers, agribusinesses, cooperatives, and universities helps developing countries to improve productivity, access new markets, and conserve environmental and natural resources. Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers work with farmers, producer groups, rural businesses, and service providers to develop local capacity necessary to enhance food security, increase incomes and economic growth, and address environmental and natural resource management challenges. The program also has the potential to provide volunteers with firsthand experience in some of Africa’s emerging markets. After Farmer-to-Farmer assignments, volunteers return with the kind of in-depth, qualitative understanding of conditions in emerging markets that is impossible to achieve through desk-based research.

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What Do Volunteers Do?


Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers carry out a wide variety of projects. Some volunteers work with farmers to improve production techniques or to help them better market their crops. Others might work with an agricultural processor to solve a production bottleneck or to increase their level of food safety. Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers also work in the areas of cooperative development, business planning, and agricultural lending, to name a few. NCBA, the nation’s leading organization for cooperative businesses, and NFU, the nation’s leading general farm organization promoting cooperatives, concentrates the program focus on technical assistance efforts for cooperatives.

How To Get Involved


We are always looking for experts in agricultural production, post-harvest handling, marketing, cooperative development, financial management, food processing and other agricultural disciplines. The Program pays all assignment-related expenses. Volunteers should not have to spend any of their own money in order to participate in Farmer-to-Farmer. If you’re interested in pursuing a volunteer opportunity, please e-mail NFU Education Director Melissa Miller at melissamiller@nfudc.org. NFU is currently assembling its first team of leader volunteers to go overseas. What you take home may be worth more than what you bring.