Winrock International

Winrock International is a nonprofit organization that works with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources. Winrock matches innovative approaches in agriculture, natural resources management, clean energy and leadership development with the unique needs of its partners. By linking local individuals and communities with new ideas and technology, Winrock is increasing long-term productivity, equity and responsible resource management to benefit the poor and disadvantaged of the world.
May 6, 2014

Room to Learn plans to resume activities in South Sudan

While a cease-fire agreement was signed on January 23, 2014 following the outbreak of violence on December 15, 2013, the situation in South Sudan has remained volatile. The conflict has displaced nearly 1.1 million South Sudanese both internally and externally as some refugees have fled to neighboring countries. Unfortunately, the Room to Learn South Sudan (RtL) project has been unable to resume full project operations under these conditions. However, despite the uncertainly, the RtL team has been considering a number of creative approaches to implementation. Your donation is helping us respond to the changed context and fluid dynamics now seen in the country.

In the months ahead, the Room to Learn project will aim to serve children who have been displaced by the conflict and are cut off from accessing schooling in their home communities. Project activities will also seek to support those communities struggling with a huge influx of displaced persons, straining the already limited resources found across the country. A key focus of our work will be to employ a “do no harm” approach in all activities and to help communities process the trauma of conflict both through psychosocial support and transparent dialogue aimed at building bridges. We thank our donors for their ongoing support of these valuable efforts to provide access to education and hope for a better future to those struggling with the violence in South Sudan.

Apr 23, 2014

Mata no Peito Forest Fund Update

Nike, together with Winrock, seeks to bring together a committed and visionary team of partners in the Mata no Peito Initiative to raise funding and awareness for the strength of joint actions to protect and replant forests throughout Brazil.

Mata no Peito’s partnership with Sustain:Green (www.sustaingreen.com) is scheduled to go live late this summer with the introduction of biodegradable credit cards and prepaid cards which reduce the cardholder’s carbon footprint while providing funding to the Mata No Peito initiative. For every $1 in net purchases, Sustain:Green will offset 2 pounds of CO2e, with all of the proceeds from the purchase of the offsets going to Mata No Peito. Use the Sustain:Green cards for everyday purchases and make a difference everyday. To be one of the first to get one of these unique cards, or if you are a business or non-profit wanting to learn more about how partnering with Sustain:Green can help you as well as the planet, contact Sustain:Green at info@sustaingreen.com.

To date, individual and corporate donors have partnered with the Mata no Peito Initiative, raising $40,000 and removing over 19 million pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere via retirement of carbon credits to offset their carbon footprints – equivalent to taking 1,780 cars off the road for a year. All donations will be pooled to seed the Mata no Peito Fund, which will provide investments in selected innovative forestry projects throughout Brazil. We remain eager to confirm additional Mata no Peito coalition partners to help raise awareness of the importance of forests to address climate change, sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity.

Apr 9, 2014

Upcoming Spring Webinar

Upcoming Spring Webinar

We’re kicking off the season with a look at seafood in our upcoming free webinar on Thursday, April 17 3:30-4:45pm EST, Net Value: An Innovative Approach to the Seafood Supply Chain. Register now!

As a fisherman, business as usual means heading out to sea, battling the elements, catching as much as you can, and heading back inland to sell what you caught on auction. You do not know what will sell, and you do not know what price it will fetch. As an institutional, retail or other mid-scale buyer you are also at the mercy of the auction. Budgeting is difficult, and there is generally no means to assure that the fish you are buying has the attributes you value, such as being sustainably caught, allowable bycatch, etc.

Open Ocean Trading created an innovative online marketplace, called FYSH-X, that allows buyers and sellers to trade commercially harvested and farmed seafood products in forward time. This value chain approach means that fishermen can leave the docks secure in the profitability of their trips by locking into a price and selling all or a portion of a catch in advance. And buyers are empowered by having prices they can budget for, and by being able to negotiate directly with vessels for any attributes that are important to them.

In this webinar we'll hear the history and context of the fish trading business, and how the Open Ocean Trading marketplace works. We'll also have a fisherman and a buyer speak from their perspectives about how FYSH-X has changed their businesses. And as always, we'll have lots of time for your questions to be answered.

Register now!

2014 National Food Hub Conference: Building Capacity for Healthy Regional Food Systems

Last month, the Wallace Center and the NGFN Food Hub Collaboration hosted the National Food Hub Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. Over 400 food hub managers and staff, government and public agencies, representatives from and partner organizations, technical assistance providers, and funders gathered in Raleigh from 48 states for almost 40 workshops and “nuts and bolts” trainings, networking opportunities, peer-to-peer learning, and so much more! Many local food hubs and partner organizations hosted site visits, 11 local farms and 2 food hubs provided delicious food, and participants enjoyed plenaries with state and federal-level government and nonprofit representatives, including Mike Taylor (Deputy Commissioner for Foods at FDA), Dr. Jill Long Thompson (Chair and CEO of the Farm Credit Administration), and Doug O’Brien (Deputy Under Secretary for USDA Rural Development).

Session descriptions are posted (http://ngfn.org/hubs2014), and we are adding sound recordings and slides as they are available.

Check out our archived webinars:

Build, Prepare, Invest: Assessing Food Hub Businesses for Investment Readiness
Whether you are an investor considering making an investment in food hubs, a food hub operator preparing for an investment, or a policymaker looking to better understand the food hub sector, Wholesome Wave’s Food Hub Business Assessment Toolkit provides you with the tools to evaluate a food hub business’ readiness for investment.

In this webinar, we introduce the Food Hub Business Assessment Toolkit, which provides a framework for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of food hubs in the areas of business model and strategy, impact potential, market overview, marketing and sales, operations, organization and management, risk mitigation, technology and systems, and finance. The webinar provides an overview of the business assessment process and explore certain areas in depth, presenting Farm Fresh Rhode Island as a case study. 

Wholesome Wave’s Healthy Food Commerce Investments division directs capital and business development assistance to food hubs in order to expand the channels for local food so farms can more reliably, safely, and efficiently sell product within their region to wholesale buyers and institutions like hospitals, schools, and large dining outlets.

Food Banks as Regional "Good Food" Partners
As we look to scale up the amount of healthy, fair and sustainable local and regional food in our food system, it becomes increasingly important to have storage and delivery mechanisms capable of getting the food to consumers. This infrastructure is very expensive, and the logistics required for efficient use of the resources is very complex.

Food banks across the country have trucks and warehouse space, including cold storage, and have been solving the logistics problem for decades, however traditionally with commodity food, often processed. This is beginning to change.

Several food banks across the country are acutely aware of the benefits of fresh, local food to their consumers, and their community, and are leveraging their resources to support local/regional food systems in innovative ways. Presentations from FoodLink in New York, the Sacramento Food Bank and the Sacramento Area Council of Governments.

Assessment Tools for Improving Farmer Financial Skills
Farming is a business, but many farmers are not familiar with many of the tools available to manage their farm finances. The first crucial step to intelligent financial decisions is assessing your current situation, and understanding your historical trends.

This webinar focuses on three assessment-centered tools and programs. First, a tool for farmer trainers themselves - to assess the strengths of the trainer’s knowledge as well as assess students’ knowledge at the outset and their subsequent progress. Second, how Annie's Project, a highly successful program for women farmers, integrates such an assessment tool as a part of the curriculum. And third, an entry level training tool that walks farmers through farm business cash flow analysis in an approachable way.

Assessment is not the end goal of beginning farmer training.  However, assessment is fundamental to the success of financial skills education by providing a measurable feedback loop for improvement, adjustment, and documentation of effectiveness.

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