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Extension agent assists farmers in Haiti

Tom Syverud, Douglas County UW Extension agent, traveled to Cap Haitian, Haiti, in early January through the Farmer to Farmer Program with Washington, D.C.-based Partners of the Americas.

Tom Syverud, Douglas County UW Extension agent, traveled to Cap Haitian, Haiti, in early January through the Farmer to Farmer Program with Washington, D.C.-based Partners of the Americas.

His volunteer assignment was to provide technical assistance to small scale vegetable growers on composting, soil fertility, disease and insect control, and proper pesticide use. For the first week of his trip, Syverud visited nurseries and fields of Haitian farmers to learn about their problems and to discuss solutions.

During the second week, he gave day-long workshops to members of farm grower cooperatives, University agricultural students, agricultural professionals and subsistence farmers. Three workshops were held in three different communities for 82 people.

A longtime Farmer to Farmer volunteer, Syverud has worked for UW for 30 years and has participated in other projects in Nicaragua, Kenya, Jamaica and Rwanda.

The trip was sponsored by Partners of the Americas, specifically the Farmer to Farmer Program. The program improves economic opportunities in rural areas of Latin America and the Caribbean by increasing food production and distribution, promoting better farm and marketing operations, and conserving natural resources.

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