On February 8 and 9, I will be attending the Joint Council of Extension Professionals Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida for the very first time! As a Field Officer for the F2F Program in Guatemala, I was invited by former F2F volunteers, Dan Culbert, Shawn Steed, and Vanessa Campoverde, to conducting a round table discussion titled: “University Extension Educators Responding to International Emerging Issues.”
I first met Vanessa, a plant pathologist and horticulture extension agent at the University of Florida when, in March 2016 when we conducted a F2F assignment in Guatemala working with ornamental export producers to improve plant nutrition in their nurseries.
I also worked with Shawn and Dan during that same Spring on F2F assignments in Guatemala to improve smallholder aloe vera production.
During this round table discussion, we will touch on four important topics:
1) Share collective experiences
2) Review follow-up progress after initial programs
3) Reflect on how Guatemala’s, Haiti’s, and Ghana’s producers benefited from the experience
4) Discuss openings for future international extension and education volunteer opportunities
During my part of the discussion, I hope to discuss new opportunities for U.S. extension agents to establish new partnerships with USAID-funded organizations through the F2F program. As a field officer, delivering this talk about how to improve our volunteers’ experiences reminds me as to why I love being a part of this program!
I am very excited to do this and to share more about it with the whole staff soon. I feel this will empower and benefit all of our field offices and I am honored to have this opportunity. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our dear Courtney Dunham for making this possible!