Do you know the important connection that exists between USAID’s global Feed the Future initiative and the volunteer program Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F)? Many don’t.

Building food security and ending global hunger requires input, energy, resources, information-sharing, talent, and expertise from multiple sectors, in an “all hands on deck” approach. Feed the Future’s global partnership to end hunger consists of governments, businesses, nonprofits and NGOS, researchers, universities and individuals, including everyday Americans who volunteer for this cause by participating in F2F.

To the projects, people and communities they impact, the volunteers who give their time to the F2F program are more than ordinary, everyday Americans. They are dedicated, service oriented, and interested in helping others, something we need more of, especially now. Experienced farmers and agribusiness experts like Steve Morgan and Ross Penhallegon, ACDI/VOCA F2F volunteers, give their time and share their knowledge to benefit farmers through ACDI/VOCA projects in the field.

Aligned with Feed the Future, F2F works to support inclusive agriculture sector growth, facilitate private sector engagement in the agriculture sector, enhance development of local capacity, and promote climate-smart development. Volunteer assignments address local priorities to expand economic growth, increase incomes, and improve access to nutritious food.

Many volunteers learn about and sign up as volunteers for F2F through universities and as the result of Feed the Future Innovation Labs. Led by U.S. universities, these Innovation Labs are central to advancing novel solutions to reduce global hunger, poverty and undernutrition.

ACDI/VOCA’s Thelonious Trimmell, Senior Agribusiness Advisor for Inclusive Market Systems and F2F Project Director, will be attending the Innovation Lab annual meeting on September 17, during Feed the Future Week.

For more information and to volunteer for F2F, contact me at

Olya Catto

Olya Catto manages our project operations and volunteer programs around the world. Prior to joining ACDI/VOCA in 2014, her 20-year career included managing USAID-funded programs in 14 countries for organizations such as Chemonics International, DAI Global, and Tetra Tech. Olya spent eight years implementing programs in the Philippines and Mexico and designing communications campaigns for USAID in Macedonia.

She holds a BA in English and French from the Moscow State Linguistics University (Russia) and completed the Leadership and Management Certificate Program at the University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School, as well as certified courses from Management Concepts. She is fluent in English, Russian, and Spanish. 

Olya received Humentum’s 2019 Operational Excellence Award for designing a project start-up management model as well as USAID’s 2007 Meritorious Award and the U.S. Department of State’s 2007 Meritorious Honor Award for her work in Macedonia.