Thanks to farmer Mimi Arnstein for passing on info about two exciting and unique opportunities for Vermont farmers to travel to Cuba and El Salvador in early 2013 to share knowledge with small scale and farmers in those countries.
“My experiences in Cuba last fall while attending an international agro-ecology conference gave me an appreciation for Cuban farmers’ low-input approach to small scale agriculture, commitment to local markets, strong cooperatives and use of permaculture principles,” Mimi writes. “I think Vermont growers have a lot to learn from Cuban producers and much to offer as well.”
Volunteers Needed for Farming without Borders Partnership El Salvador
NOFA-VT has extended its farmer-to-farmer mentoring program to develop a Farming Beyond Borders Program designed to support exchanges between Vermont organic farmers and farmers outside of Vermont. NOFA-VT has partnered with Winrock International (www.winrock.org) for a 2-3 week January or February trip to El Salvador. Farmers in Vermont will serve as volunteer consultants with farmers in El Salvador, donating their time and expertise, and Winrock will cover the costs related to the trip (travel, food, in-country transportation). The project is seeking 3-4 farmers with expertise in organic vegetable production and 2-3 farmers with expertise in goat management and goat cheese processing. Spanish proficiency a plus.
I have worked with Winrock International several times in India and Nepal. It is a great organization. Your time will be well spent and you can really make a difference for some of these small farmers,” says UVM Extension’s Ann Hazelrigg. ” I have found the volunteer work I have done with Winrock has truly been life altering.”
If you are interested in volunteering with the Farming Beyond Borders project or would like additional information please contact Mimi Arnstein firstname.lastname@example.org 802 426 3361, who is helping to coordinate the trip from Vermont, or Jen Snow email@example.com, Program Officer at Winrock International.
Vermont-Cuba Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Exchange Program
Vermont Caribbean Institute (VCI) is organizing the first travel opportunity of this program for January or February; ten-day travel to Cuba to explore the impressive agricultural innovations of Cuban farmers and to share challenges and successes of key participants in Vermont’s agricultural sector.
This initial travel is intended as exploratory and fact-finding, an opportunity for a core group of committed individuals to travel to Cuba with VCI to explore possible future collaborations based upon defined interests and needs, mutual benefit and reciprocal exchange. The fee for this trip includes visa for legal travel to Cuba, lodging, in-country transportation and translation. If you are interested in participating or would like more information, please contact Mimi Arnstein firstname.lastname@example.org 802 426 3361, who is assisting the program, or Marisha Kazeniac, Director of VCI (http://vtcaribbean.org/).