College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

Farmer To Farmer

NOTE: If you are interested in participating in Farmer to Farmer or similar volunteer assignment, you must seek the approval of your supervisor.  

Farmer to Farmer (F2F) is a volunteer program funded by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), that matches volunteer agricultural experts with farmers in developing countries.  

U.S. volunteers provide technical assistance to smallholder farmers in Africa, Asia, the Carribbean, and Eastern Europe.  Assignments average about three weeks and all travel expenses and stipend are paid to the volunteer.    To find out more about the program, go to USAID: THE JOHN OGONOWSKI AND DOUG BEREUTER FARMER-TO-FARMER PROGRAM.

Major areas of program focus are: horticulture, dairy and livestock, staple food crops, producer organization development, financial services, marketing and processing, agricultural education and training, and natural resources management.

Many AGNR faculty and Extension agents have participated in Farmer to Farmer.   While USAID is the funding agency, several non-profit organizations implement the program by recruiting volunteers, identifying projects and managing the logistics.   Anna Glenn,  a UME Faculty Extension Assistant in Baltimore County, worked for three weeks in Tanzinia, teaching local farmers about sustainable farming practices, integrated pest management, among other things.  This was her second F2F assignment, she also volunteered in Haiti.  You can read about her Tanzania assignment here.

The non-profit organizations recruiting experts (through FY18) are:

FAQs from USAID:

How can I volunteer for the Farmer-To-Farmer program?

Visit the websites of the organizations that implement the Farmer-To-Farmer Program, as listed above. You must contact or register with each organization individually to apply for an assignment. This generally involves a simple online application process that includes uploading a description of your professional experience (résumé or CV) and adding your contact information. This will enable the organization to contact you regarding assignments that match your interests and expertise. A willingness to volunteer, however, does not guarantee automatic placement since the process is driven by our overseas clients' demand for particular skills.

In which countries do you need volunteers?

Check the current listing of organizations implementing Farmer-To-Farmer programs, as listed in Implementing Partners. Contained in that list are the countries in which Farmer-To-Farmer operates worldwide.

What skills are you typically looking for?

Farmer-To-Farmer is always looking for new volunteers to support the program’s activities across implementers. We have ongoing needs for experienced professionals with varied skills relating to agriculture – production, post harvest handling, processing, marketing, business development, rural banking and financial services, cooperative and association development, food safety, gender, nutrition, environmental and natural resource management, apiculture, and other technical areas. Volunteers do not have to be currently engaged in agriculture to have relevant skills needed by Farmer-to-Farmer Program host beneficiaries.

How long are the assignments?

Volunteer assignments vary in length, but are typically from 2 to 4 weeks.

Will there be any cost for me to volunteer?

Volunteers contribute their time and expertise while the implementing organization pays for all assignment-related expenses. These include round-trip coach airfare, passport, visas, lodging, meals and incidentals, required immunizations, emergency medical evacuation, and supplemental health insurance, etc.

Do I need to speak the local language?

Foreign language skills are generally not required. In cases where the volunteer does not speak the local language and the in-country host does not speak English, an interpreter is provided. What kind of housing is provided? This varies from country to country and depends upon whether you are based in an urban or a rural area. In urban areas, volunteers are typically housed in moderate quality hotels, guesthouses, or apartments that the project leases. In rural areas, you may be asked to stay with the host, or in more rustic settings. Lodging information is provided in the scope of work for each assignment.

May I take my spouse or other family member?

We do not have funding to pay expenses for a spouse or other family member. If you would like to schedule a post-assignment vacation, we encourage family and friends to meet you after you have completed your obligations. Please be aware that activity schedules may change during your assignment, which may cause difficulty in coordinating with people who are not participating in the assignment.

For additional questions, please contact the implementing organization directly.

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2017.