Introducing Kaitlin: Our Newest Field of Hope Board Member

Field of Hope could not be more excited to introduce Kaitlin, the newest addition to the Board! With her unwavering passion for faith, agriculture, and education, Kaitlin brings a unique blend of experiences and expertise that perfectly aligns with our organization’s mission to make a positive impact on communities around the world.

When asked why she wanted to join the Field of Hope Board, Kaitlin’s response was resounding with enthusiasm. “I am excited about joining the Field of Hope Board because it is an organization that combines three of my biggest passions – my faith, agriculture, and education,” she shared. Kaitlin’s journey to this point has been shaped by her experiences, including a transformative month spent in Uganda (with us and TeachAg! Uganda), where her dedication to serving others blossomed even further. She sees her role on the board as a chance to allow God to work through her, utilizing her talents to expand the organization’s reach and enhance its impact.

As she embarks on her tenure as a board member, Kaitlin is particularly excited about the opportunity to delve deeper into the stories and foundations of Field of Hope while bringing a fresh perspective to its ongoing initiatives. “I am most excited about the opportunity to learn more about the story and foundation of the organization while hopefully bringing a new perspective to the current initiatives being implemented by Field of Hope,” she expressed. Drawing from her background in agricultural education, Kaitlin hopes to contribute valuable insights and ideas that will further support the organization’s goals, especially in garnering support from communities in the United States and promoting agricultural education.

Kaitlin’s journey toward advocating for food security began long before her involvement with Field of Hope. From her early participation in initiatives like the 30 Hour Famine by World Vision to her experiences in countries like the Dominican Republic, Malaysia, and Uganda, she has been driven by a deep-rooted desire to create a world where everyone has access to nutritious food. Her trajectory, from hosting fundraising events to studying international agriculture, has uniquely prepared her for this pivotal role on our board.

In reflecting on her journey, Kaitlin humbly acknowledges the seeds planted in her heart many years ago. “The seed for trying to develop a world where everyone has enough nutritious food was planted a long time ago in my heart,” she shared. Now, as a member of the Field of Hope Board, she is grateful to be part of an organization actively working towards this mission.

Kaitlin’s commitment to serving others and her dedication to our cause make her a valuable asset to the Field of Hope community. We are excited to see the positive impact she will undoubtedly make as she brings her passion, expertise, and heart for service to our board. Please join us in welcoming Kaitlin as we continue our journey of hope and transformation together.

Harvest Money Expo: What is it, and Why did We Attend?

What is it? 

Harvest Money Expo Conference is Uganda’s biggest agriculture and agribusiness annual exhibition event that always takes place at Kololo Independence Ground in Kampala. The event is organized annually by Vision Group in partnership with Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF). The Expo started in 2017 following a successful selection of the 10 best farmers in Uganda that allowed them to travel to the Netherlands for farming exposure. The event brings together model and smallholder farmers, non-governmental organizations, agricultural government agencies, financial institutions, and agricultural private sector actors like agro-input companies, mechanization, and farm equipment dealers, agro-processors among others. The Expo takes three days and different exhibitors showcase their innovations, technologies, and new products to farmers, students, agricultural extension workers, and aspiring entrepreneurs to take farming as a business. During the event, several training sessions such as urban farming, piggery, goat rearing, dairy, poultry production, and vegetable production are always conducted by experts to equip participants with practical knowledge and skills related to agriculture.

Why do we go?

Field of Hope and Harvest Money Expo share the goal of improving farmers’ livelihoods through access to financial services, technology, and knowledge. Therefore, the Harvest Money Expo Conference provides a unique learning opportunity, creating a network and collaboration with actors in the agriculture value chains, and sharing knowledge, skills, and experiences on best practices to empower the smallholder farmers, youth, and students that Field of Hope works with. The Expo also provides a path where the Field of Staff working with schools learn about new agricultural technologies, and techniques, such as urban farming and school gardening that can be shared with partner teachers.

What did you learn? 

Harvest Money Expo presented many learning opportunities for Field of Hope staff. “During the three days at Harvest Money Expo, I was able to learn and improve my knowledge and skills on farming as a business through diversification of enterprises, value addition, marketing strategies, and risk assessment and mitigation. Exhibitors and experts demonstrated innovation and skills in a modern intensive system of growing crops and rearing animals that are climate change resilient. With this wealth of knowledge and skills gained, I hope to be in a better position to build resilience among the smallholder women farmers and youth that Field of Hope supports” Joseph Apea – Program Associate

 

“As a person who heads the Youth Agriculture Education program, the Harvest Money Expo allowed me to acquire knowledge and skills that will improve my service delivery to the teacher, the students, and the farmers. I have acquired knowledge and skills in aquaculture, poultry, goats’ management, and vegetable production. All those skills will help me in giving technical advice and monitoring the Inspiring Students in Agriculture Grants and training of farmers. I have also created connections with different companies and other private sectors that will provide genuine agricultural inputs to both partner schools and farmers” David Obong, Program Associate

What can we use for Field of Hope this year with what you both learned? 

  • Implementation of Leyi Naa Piggery Project. With piggery training sessions and a training manual from National Animal Genetic Resources Center & Data Bank during Harvest Money Expo, Field of Hope will effectively and efficiently implement the said project.
  • There are opportunities for partnership with other organizations working or supporting similar activities like Field of Hope.
  • Inspiring Student in Agriculture Grant (ISAG). Through network and collaboration, we created value chain actors like Uzima Chicken, and Grain Pulse among others, implementation of ISAG projects in different schools will be easy as these actors will provide necessary services like good breeds of chicken, feeds, seeds, and other inputs.

By: Joseph Apea & David Obong

 

 

Welcoming Our Newest Board Member: Chris Hafner

Welcome to the Field of Hope family, Chris Hafner! Chris, the son of Field of Hope’s co-founders Mike and Cathy Hafner, brings a wealth of passion, insight, and dedication to our organization as he joins us as a board member.

Chris’s journey with Field of Hope began long before his official appointment to the board. Having admired our mission and the impact we’ve made in Uganda for over a decade, Chris’s admiration grew exponentially after he had the opportunity to travel to Uganda with one of our founders, a former board member, and a Fellow. During this trip, Chris had the chance to meet and get to know our Ugandan staff, gaining firsthand insight into the universal significance of agriculture among Ugandans and its pivotal role in improving lives across the country.

Impressed by our long-term approach to building knowledge and expertise within Uganda, Chris was particularly drawn to our commitment to improving food security and economic opportunities for smallholder farmers. Witnessing the dedication and impact of our Fellow program and the response of Ugandan farmers to Field of Hope’s initiatives solidified Chris’s desire to become actively involved in supporting our efforts.

As Chris embarks on his journey as a board member, he said he is most excited about the opportunity to learn and grow alongside our organization. Chris brings invaluable expertise in business and talent development, which he hopes to leverage to contribute fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to our operations. He is eager to immerse himself in understanding how our organization operates and to explore new avenues for organizational growth and effectiveness.

With a focus on being inquisitive and open to learning from his fellow board members and our dedicated team, Chris is poised to make a significant impact in shaping the future of Field of Hope. We are honored to welcome Chris to our board and look forward to the invaluable contributions he will bring to our mission of creating sustainable change and improving lives in Uganda.

Welcoming Our New Junior Board Member: Sarah McCord

We are thrilled to announce the newest addition to our Field of Hope family: Sarah McCord! Sarah has been an integral part of our  organization since her fellowship with us, and we are delighted to welcome her aboard as a junior board member.

Sarah has been diligently working towards completing her Master of Science in Agriculture at Missouri State University while also juggling part-time work at a bank and serving as a graduate assistant for the university. Her dedication to her studies and her passion for making a difference in the world are truly admirable.

Currently, Sarah is in the final stages of collecting research for her thesis and is set to graduate with her degree in May. Following her graduation, she will embark on an exciting 10-day trip to Germany with MSU, an opportunity she is eagerly looking forward to.

Despite her busy schedule, Sarah expressed her eagerness to join the Field of Hope board to provide youthful opinions and stay actively involved in supporting our organization. She believes that Field of Hope brings immense joy, light, knowledge, and learning to her life and others, and she knew she wanted to continue her involvement since the day she flew home from her fellowship.

One of Sarah’s greatest aspirations is to show other fellows and friends that they can stay connected to Field of Hope in a variety of ways. She is incredibly honored to share her voice and experiences with the board and is determined to contribute wholeheartedly to our mission.

We are beyond grateful for Sarah’s dedication and enthusiasm, and we are thrilled to have her leadership, insights, and faithful commitment on our board. Welcome back to Field of Hope, Sarah! We are grateful to have you with us on this journey, and we look forward to the positive impact we will make together.