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.
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.

Mar 20, 2014

First Class Communication Testimonial

Julie Johnson Holt and Dauphne Trenholm
Julie Johnson Holt and Dauphne Trenholm

First Class Communication, LLC., a public relations firm whose niche is education (we like to say we’re where education and communication conspire) will soon enter into its third year of business.

As any new business owner knows, the first few years are, well, a roller coaster. Times of high productivity are followed by lulls in projects and, thankfully, those are followed (though not soon enough, it always seems!) by new spurts of business.

We - founding partners Julie Johnson Holt and Dauphne Trenholm - have the Arkansas Women’s Business Center to thank for helping us navigate these choppy seas of new business ownership.

The AWBC has taught us how to visualize the clients we want (and then go after them successfully) as well as to get to the quick “no” when it’s just not a good fit. The AWBC has helped us build our business with new clients who seek our services on a project as well as an ongoing basis.

We still have a lot of room for growth and are working daily to reach our goals, but the support of the Arkansas Women’s Business Center has been nothing short of invaluable to First Class Communication’s.

________________________

Your contribution to the AWBC allows us to continue to make dreams of business ownership a reality for women in Arkansas. Women across the state receive free one-on-one counseling services designed to help make their business venture a success.

Mar 6, 2014

Moldovan Women Empowered to Overcome Violence

Young leaders campaign against violence
Young leaders campaign against violence

Over the past two years, the ADVANCE project has helped Moldovan women escape the cycle of family violence and empower themselves toward a better future. “Elena,” a mother of seven, exemplifies the courage and perseverance it takes to move forward. After enduring years of physical and emotional abuse in her home, Elena discovered that there are services available to women like her. After a training in her village carried out by one of ADVANCE’s Mobile Technical Teams, Elena began to access legal and psychological assistance provided by the project. Through repeated sessions, she regained her self-confidence and learned to prioritize her own well-being, as well as her children’s.

One of the effects of years of abuse was that Elena did not feel she could do anything on her own, that she always needed her husband to survive. She soon learned about ADVANCE’s entrepreneurship courses and jumped at the opportunity to become self-sufficient. After the course, she went on to develop a business plan and won an in-kind grant worth about USD 500 to start her own sewing business. She said that this success has helped her to trust her own abilities and feel truly independent. Now, Elena lives with her children separately from her husband, and her business is getting off the ground.

As the ADVANCE project comes to a close, we thank you and all of our donors who contributed to the empowerment of so many women like Elena. Over the course of the project, more than 400 survivors of domestic violence and women at risk accessed psychological or legal assistance, and expanded their economic prospects through job readiness or entrepreneurship training. Our Mobile Technical Teams reached almost 900 people in 26 villages. The project has also reached about 1,150 young people through peer-to-peer sessions addressing gender roles and stereotypes, as well as providing tools for violence mitigation and prevention. Among these young people, 120 have gone on to conduct their own prevention activities in their communities.

On behalf of Winrock and our partners in the ADVANCE project, thank you for your support. While the problem of family violence may persist in Moldova, we are confident that the communities and individuals who participated in ADVANCE are equipped and committed to addressing this serious issue now and in the future.

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