Name: John Wallbrown
Current title/profession: Agribusiness Owner, CFO of Deerfield Farms Services
Current hometown: Deerfield, Ohio
Areas of expertise: Sales, design, construction and service of grains storage and handling systems
Name of project: Farmer-to-Farmer in Ghana
Location of the project: Ghana
Organization that sent the volunteer: ACDI/VOCA
On March 15th, 2013 John Wallbrown returned from Ghana after three weeks as a volunteer for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Farmer-to-Farmer program managed by the nonprofit organization ACDI/VOCA. The program relies on the expertise of carefully selected mid-career professionals who volunteer from U.S. farms, land grant universities, cooperatives, private businesses and nonprofits to respond to the local needs of farmers, businesses and organizations in developing and transitional countries.
In an effort to support business development in the rice-processing sector in Ghana, John worked with three rice-milling enterprises to improve record keeping practices. He also trained staff on financial and inventory management, budgeting, business development and planning strategies. Many young businesses in Ghana need assistance in improving record keeping and business management practices, and the trainings John conducted will help the rice milling enterprises improve services to farmers and expand their businesses. Ghana, in West Africa, is a lower-middle income economy with a tropical climate; agriculture accounts for 26 percent of GDP and employs 52 percent of the workforce. John previously completed a volunteer assignment for ACDI/VOCA in Ghana in August 2012, in which he taught farm management and business skills.
John is currently moving to with his wife, Jessica, to begin a new business venture in Morocco. They are hoping to bring farming practices that have worked successfully for them in the U.S. to struggling farmers in Morocco, and help their agricultural sector grow. You can read more about their story here.