As part of the Agrilinks 10-year anniversary, we are celebrating with testimonials from some of our top users. Read on to hear from Jack Nichting, a Virtual Student Federal Service (VSFS) intern with the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security. The following is a transcript of a 10-year anniversary video series. The full video can be played at the bottom of the page.
Hi, my name is Jack Nichting and I’ve been in the world of international development for approximately one year as a VSFS interning with the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security in USAID, and I have been a member of Agrilinks for six months.
Agrilinks is an online collection of tools designed to equip members with a number of valuable skills that will help them be better practitioners in the fields of agriculture and food security. Three main components are blog posts, where people are able to share their personal and professional opinions about anything and everything involving agriculture and food security; training modules, which are an incredible opportunity to hone in on specific skills; and then the events page is a massive library of pretty much everything going on in the agricultural development community.
As a young person kicking off a career in international development, Agrilinks has been incredible for me in seeing and hearing about all the different stories that are taking place, especially the innovations and perspectives of an incredible number of international actors.
I was first exposed to Agrilinks through my internship with USAID, where I was given the opportunity to write a blog post talking about a specific intervention I saw taking place in Guatemala, and I work alongside a number of Guatemalans in the restaurant in which I work, so it was an incredible opportunity to kind of bring together two different lenses and share this incredible story that I was seeing unfold.
After hearing a number of stories from my Guatemalan coworkers, I think continuing to facilitate partnerships with small-scale farmers, specifically younger farmers, will not only continue to supply them with the resources they need to have the livelihoods that they want, but it will also incentivize and encourage them to stay home and pursue these lifestyles they are desiring at home with their families and not have to leave.
I also think that developmental actors could use and place a higher emphasis on higher internet access and broadband networks to all individuals. COVID-19 really put internet access in the spotlight, and allowing all individuals to have access to this resource in pandemics, in natural disasters, is incredibly needed.
Finally, more individuals need to be a part of Agrilinks. The more voices that are sharing their perspectives and sharing their stories will not only empower those people who are sharing their voices, but it will also provide opportunities for people to learn. And the best way to be a strong international development actor is to learn.
If I were to describe Agrilinks in one word, it would be needed.
Happy 10-year anniversary, Agrilinks!