The John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer Program (F2F) provides technical assistance from highly-skilled volunteers from the United States to farmers, farm groups, agribusinesses, service providers and other agriculture sector institutions in developing and transitional countries. The program’s goal is to promote sustainable improvements in both food security and agricultural production, processing, and marketing. The F2F program leverages the expertise of volunteers from U.S. farms, universities, cooperatives, private agribusinesses, and nonprofit farm organizations to respond to local needs and requests in the host-countries. Volunteers, recruited from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, are generally individuals who have domestic careers, farms, and agribusinesses, or are retirees who want to participate in development efforts; they do not have to be overseas development professionals. Volunteers tend to be senior or mid-career professionals with practical agro-industry experience.
F2F works to support inclusive agriculture sector growth, facilitate private sector engagement in the agriculture sector, enhance development of local capacity, and promote climate-smart development. Volunteer assignments are demand-driven and aim to increase incomes and improve access to nutritious food. The program provides:
- Quality, cost-effective technical assistance from experienced specialists
- Targeted and demand-driven capacity development and technology transfer
- Citizen diplomacy that establishes long term relationships, promotes goodwill, and raises understanding of international development issues
The Farmer-to-Farmer Program was initially authorized by Congress in the 1985 Farm Bill and funded through Title V of Public Law 480. The program was designated the "John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer Program" in honor of one of the pilots killed September 11, 2001 and of former Congressman Bereuter, who initially sponsored the program. F2F is aligned with Feed the Future, the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative, and actively coordinates with other USG priorities in each host country, including the Feed The Future Innovation Labs.
The Farmer-to-Farmer Program provides technical assistance from United States volunteers to farmers, farm groups, agribusinesses, service providers and other agriculture sector institutions.
F2F is managed via eight Leader With Associate (LWA) Awards. Each LWA is global in nature but implements core country programs in a speciﬁc regional or technical area. Implementing Partners and the core countries of their LWA agreements are listed below.
- Sri Lanka
- El Salvador
- Dominican Republic
Interested in volunteering for Farmer-to-Farmer? Here is a list of FAQs most often asked by professionals interested in volunteering their knowledge and time.
How can I volunteer for the Farmer-to-Farmer program?
Visit https://farmer-to-farmer.org to fill out a volunteer application that will be sent to all eight implementing organizations. To peruse the current open assignments with a particular implementer, please check their individual webpages. You can find a link to each page on the “Where we Work” page of farmer-to-farmer.org. 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 list on the “Where We Work” page of farmer-to-farmer.org.
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, youth, nutrition, environmental and natural resource management, apiculture, and other technical areas. Volunteers do not have to be currently engaged in agriculture to have the 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 economy class airfare, 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 on 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 organizations directly.
USAID has awarded cooperative agreements to eight organizations for implementation of the core Farmer-to-Farmer programs for fiscal years 2019-2022. The program will extend services to 36 core countries, providing over 3,000 volunteer technical assistance assignments averaging three weeks each. An additional Agriculture Volunteer Opportunity Project will fund volunteer activities with new implementing organizations and knowledge management for the wider F2F community. The eight implementing organizations will work closely with overseas USAID Missions and local partner organizations, supporting a variety of development programs aimed at reducing poverty and stimulating sustainable economic growth. The core program agreements allow USAID country programs to allocate additional funding for agricultural development projects that utilize Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers.
Farmer-to-Farmer emphasizes achieving economic impact and measurable results by concentrating volunteer assignments in specific geographic areas, commodity programs, and service sectors. Programs go beyond simply placing individual volunteers with hosts and instead focus on developing specific market chains for which overall impact can be evaluated. Programs transfer technology and management expertise to small farmers and link them with markets. Volunteers also help hosts make use of their comparative advantages in production, processing, and marketing. Volunteers typically work with medium and small agro-enterprises, cooperatives, individual producers, agricultural extension and research agencies, and financial institutions.
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.
The F2F Program has demonstrated significant impact through high quality, specialized services from volunteers. Since 1985 volunteers have provided direct, hands-on training to over 1.5 million people. In the last five-year program alone, volunteers assisted their host organizations to increase annual sales by over $414 million and raise annual incomes by $69 million. The program leveraged nearly $28 million worth of volunteer time contributions to development efforts and mobilized over $36 million through assisted local host organizations. Over 230,000 farmer families (representing about 30 million people) directly benefitted, and approximately 41% of all individuals trained were women. Since program initiation, over 19,000 volunteer assignments have been completed in more than 110 countries.
Examples of Volunteer Assignments
Examples of volunteer assignments are available here: https://farmer-to-farmer.org/volunteers/volunteer-stories