“Fun and Interesting”
The World Poultry Foundation partners with the Zimbabwean registered non-profit Growing Farmers Trust to fund training opportunities for Zimbabwean poultry farmers on US poultry farms. Placements are arranged through a partnership with the WISE Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Dyersburg, Tennessee, under the US Department of State J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. Program financing is structured as a revolving model: The Trust fronts the cost of participating in the program; the youths commit to repay the Trust from their wages in their first months of employment in the US thus replenishing the fund for future participants.
This story is one in a series from Frances Chisholm highlighting stories of lives impacted by World Poultry Foundation programs and workshops both in the U.S. and abroad. We encourage you to learn more about Ms. Chisholm and our poultry projects in Zimbabwe.
Felix Vutuza is off to a fast and joyful start on his one-year poultry farm internship in the US, sponsored by the World Poultry Foundation. Speaking also for his two Zimbabwean colleagues, he said, “We’ve had a very good welcome from the host and co-workers. The co-workers are eager to teach us Spanish. It’s fun and interesting.” The young Zimbabwean, who has a Diploma in Agriculture, also enjoys “farm talk” with his supervisor on the Rose Acre Farm in Indiana. He hopes to visit the man’s alma mater, Purdue University, in the course of the year.
In the meantime, Felix is soaking up the egg farm’s sophisticated electronic record keeping. He marvels at the number of indicators being monitored and recorded. At the 2,000-bird farm in Zimbabwe where he last worked, he said “record keeping was manual and most checks were carried out visually. It was very labor intensive.” The young Zimbabwean is also keen to be getting exposure to cage-free production. “There’s advocacy for cage-free production now in Zimbabwe; I can learn and take this experience home with me,” he said.
Thinking even bigger, Felix would like to drive change in the way people view poultry production in Zimbabwe: “When you say livestock in Zimbabwe, people think cattle. Poultry farming is not appreciated as a business, we need to change that mindset,” he says with passion. Rounding out his first impressions, Felix has been pleasantly surprised at the friendliness of the small-town community. He returned home one day to discover his neighbor had mowed his front lawn and left dinner on his doorstep, “Mexican food with chilis,” plus garden tomatoes.
Welcome to America, Feliz. May you have many more positive experiences!
Ms. Frances Chisholm
Friend & Supporter of the WPF
Learn More About Frances