This year, the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program celebrates 30 years of implementation around the world. We asked staff to reflect on the spirit of F2F and what makes the program so special. Their responses weave together themes of service, dedication, selflessness, exchange. Winrock is grateful to be a part of this rewarding program!
“The spirit of the F2F program is about selflessness. On their own time, our volunteers selflessly share information and provide technical assistance to groups or individuals that need the guidance in order to improve their businesses practices and strengthen their institutions. Our hosts are also selfless and gracious to accept our volunteers and share their knowledge and culture with them.” –Gelsey Bennett, Program Officer
“Due to its unique approach of mobilizing US experts as volunteers, F2F is the best way of sharing and communicating issues and learning among countries to achieve the program’s main objective to generate rapid, sustainable, and broad-based food security and economic growth in the agricultural sector. This is also a two way leaning process(volunteer to host to volunteer).” –Vrigu Duwadi, F2F Nepal Country Director
“I would say that the spirit of the F2F program is best captured by this quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Everyone can be great because anyone can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t even have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve… You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.
Our volunteers are varied, from livestock farmers to PhD’s in Agricultural Education; what they all have in common is their desire to give back and serve others. Many of our volunteers go above and beyond their assignment tasks, providing their hosts with assistance long after the assignment is over, this demonstrates their dedication and willingness to help others in any way that they can.” –Angela Krazsewski, Program Associate/Recruiter
“The spirit of the program is embodied in its people-to-people focus. I’ve been a F2F volunteer myself, and now, as a F2F staff, I love hearing stories from volunteers, field staff, and host organizations that confirm that the experience is as eye-opening and impactful as I remember it to be myself. The American volunteer experts come to the host country hoping to teach, to share something that will make a difference. Many (if not most) are successful in doing so. But without a doubt, all of them leave their assignments having gained something themselves. I wish more Americans could experience this.” –Jen Snow, Program Officer/F2F M&E and Outreach Director
In the last 12 months alone, 126 F2F volunteers assisted more than 8,200 farmers, agriculture educators, agribusiness owners, technicians, and others, in seven countries.
More information and current volunteer opportunities are posted at:www.winrock.org/volunteer