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 21, 2015

Community Engagement in South Sudan

Students participate in RtL community activities
Students participate in RtL community activities

At the start of the 2015 school year, Room to Learn (RtL) South Sudan entered school communities for the first time in three states and four counties. Using a community-based approach, RtL county teams work with community members to identify their own human and material resources, networks, and past experiences that can be put to use to support education. The process involves many stakeholders including teachers, parents, government officials, religious leaders, youth, women’s groups, entrepreneurs, and civil society organizations. Communities are engaged to actively understand how safe and effective their school is so that they can plan and implement steps to improve school safety through the creation or updating of the School Development Plan.

The result of this approach is that community members are empowered to mobilize resources at their disposal to improve school conditions as well as identify gaps that RtL can help address through its grant mechanism.

This process can be applied not only to the school. It can be applied in our houses so we appreciate the resources we have and use them properly”, said one community member. Over the life of the project, Room to Learn anticipates it will reach over 500 schools and 300,000 children through direct services aimed at improving access, retention, quality, safety and relevance of instruction across South Sudan. On behalf of Winrock and our partners, we thank donors for their generous support. Your commitment is invaluable as we move ahead with work in school communities!

Apr 14, 2015

Mata no Peito Forestry 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 join actions to protect and replant forests in Brazil.

To date, individual and corporate Mata no Peito partners have collectively raised $40,000 and removed 19.5 million pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere via retirement of carbon credits to offset their carbon footprints – equivalent to taking 1,825 cars off the road for a year. All donations will be pooled to provide funding to projects that protect and replant forests in Brazil and demonstrate community engagement and enhanced livelihoods.

We are grateful for the generous support to date from 155 individual donations via Global Giving as well as from committed corporate and nonprofit partners including the U.S. Tennis Congress, (USTC), Sustain:Green, the 2013 Environmental and Clean Energy Presidential Inaugural Ball, software development company iObit, Nissan, London Carbon Markets and Hub Culture.

We look forward to announcing the first Mata no Peito funded project in the coming months.  

Mar 13, 2015

Putting Values Back Into Food

In our work we are often striving to level the playing field for people: how can we make sure that lower income and historically underserved populations have access to  fresh, healthy food? How can we ensure that hard working smallholder farmers using sustainable growing practices are fairly compensated for their efforts?

We feel that the NGFN webinars are a way to enable access to the best thinking in sustainable food systems to all - from those in urban areas to the most remote towns, from those with significant financial resources to those with few resources. Our webinars continue to bring the foremost thinkers and doers in sustainable food systems to all comers. We're proud of what we have accomplished, and are excited to continue. Please consider continuing your support of our webinars, or pledging support for the first time today!

Our upcoming webinars:

March 19: The Million Dollar Question: What is break-even and viability for different food hub models?

Register now!

How much volume does it take for a food hub to be a viable business?
Food hub managers, funders, support organizations, economic development commissions, planners, and investors are all asking this same question!
On one hand, this is an impossible question to answer with a single number since there are diverse food hub models and management structures. And context matters: the region of the country, urban vs. rural, and others.
This webinar will give you the tools to do your own analysis for your particular hub. By peering into the operations and financial books of several illustrative examples of different hypothetical hubs, we tease apart those “magic numbers” – where each model reaches profitability, and true viability. By using an approach based on hypothetical hubs, we can see how the finances change as we adjust certain parameters.
Two of the best respected thinkers on US food hubs will give you the tools to do your own analysis of food hub viability.

April 16: Discerning Pallets: Grower's Experiences Selling Their Crops Through Food Hubs

Register now!

What is it like to sell through a food hub?

Hear farmers from different regions of the country talk about their experiences - the good and bad - of selling through their local food hub.

Learn how they chose to start selling to the hub, why, what the hub demands of them, what they get in return, how they are managing risks, and how their business' bottom line has been affected.

Considering selling through a hub? Learn from the experience of your peers.

May 14: Crop Insurance for Small Farms: A Crash Course

Register now!

Crop insurance can be an effective risk management strategy, or it can be a waste of money. It all depends on matching your operation with the correct insurance option.

Learn about some interesting crop insurance options now available to farmers, and how to decide what option is best for your farm.

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And as always, we record and archive our past webinars. This year so far we have had two terrific webinars. I've heard more good things about these webinars than usual!

January 22, 2015: Talk is Cheap ... and Efficient! Facilitating value chain development without costly new infrastructure

Watch the recording

Let's face it: food hubs are sexy! So are other Good Food infrastructure projects, such as region-scaled meat processing plants.

And for good reason: these businesses are often filling gaps or bottlenecks in regional and local food systems.

However, sometimes it's not a LACK of infrastructure that leads to bottlenecks; it is incomplete or inefficient USE of the infrastructure that stymies the system.

"Value Chain Coordinators" are people who work to connect the dots in a value chain. They ensure the right people, goods and resources connect with each other. Most often value chain coordinators work outside day-to-day business operations, a vantage point that offers a unique perspective on the optimal solutions in a regional market.

This expanded webinar dives deep into the approaches people across the country are taking to improve the food system without costly new infrastructure.

 

February 19, 2015: A Look Back, A Path Forward: Lessons Learned from the Food Hub Vanguard - Grasshoppers Distribution

Watch the recording

Grasshoppers Distribution LLC, an NGFN Food Hub Collaboration Study Hub, was a food hub in Louisville, Kentucky, that was established in 2006 by four Kentucky farmers seeking to connect regional products with local markets. It grew to nearly one million dollars in annual sales of local farm products, before closing its doors in December of 2013. Over the course of its operations, Grasshoppers worked with over 70 different food producers, and directed over $2.25 million into the hands of local farmers and food entrepreneurs.

Grasshoppers underwent many transitions within its lifetime including changes in business model and leadership. They were true pioneers in promoting and providing regionally produced foods in Kentucky. They opened their doors just before the onset of the Great Recession, and adapted to new challenges and opportunities as public interest in local food expanded. Grasshoppers forged a new path to the unique opportunities and challenges in regional food system development.

This webinar examines the story behind the evolution of Grasshoppers and explores key challenges, best practices, lessons learned, and the organization’s lasting impact on Kentucky agriculture and the local food sector.

Join us for this valuable opportunity to learn from a food hub at the vanguard!

 
   

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