The Farmer-to-Farmer Program (F2F)2 program initially authorized by the 1985 Farm Bill provides short-term technical assistance to farmers, farm groups, and agribusinesses in developing and transitional countries that have requested assistance in furthering their agricultural sector development. Farmer-to-Farmer Volunteers are experts in a wide variety of agricultural disciplines, ranging from marketing, to production, to post harvest handling and storage, as well as a host of others.
The U.S. Agency for International Development's Farmer-to-Farmer program relies on the expertise of volunteers from U.S. farms, universities, cooperatives, businesses, and nonprofits to respond to local needs in developing and transitional countries.
In addition to their expertise, volunteers bring the democratic free-enterprise values of Americans to their hosts and demonstrate personal concern. They also gain insights into the people they help, and enjoy an adventurous form of travel.
The USAID Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program is not only one of the longest running volunteer programs but also has staggering numbers of participants and stories of influence around the world. Since its initiation in 1985, over 12,000 volunteer assignments have been completed in over 80 countries. This month’s Ag Sector Council (ASC) seminar explored the use of the Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers in innovative ways.