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Organizational Development and Meeting Management Skills Taught to Jamaican Organic Farmers
Jamaican organic farming and farmers organizations have long suffered from poor organizational development and meeting management skills. It became apparent to JSFEP Jamaican partner, the Source Farm Foundation, in their interactions with farmer groups and Jamaican organic agriculture groups that organizational management and development was a critical limiting factor in the growth of sustainable and organic farm enterprises in country. This volunteer request was intended to begin addressing this real world need for organizational tools and skill development.
Jerry Koch-Gonzales, from Amherst, MA, is a self employed organizational development and administration trainer and a pioneer in the organizational development model known as Dynamic Governance, and was selected to fill this volunteer assignment. Jerry came highly recommended and was selected because of his unique skills in clear communications and conflict resolution as well as organizational development. Source Farm Foundation (SFF) and the Jamaica Organic Agriculture Movement (JOAM) hosted Jerry's volunteer assignment.
During Jerry's volunteer assignment, he facilitated trainings and workshops on governance and organizational development for Source Farm and Ecovillage, Rocky Brook village, St. Thomas Organic Growers Group, JOAM, and Nanook Cultural Center. He provided direct assistance to 9 people and taught workshops for 57 people from April 26 to May 5, 2015. The groups he assisted all reported enthusiastic appreciation for the trainings offered and are working to evolve their organizational development based on his training and support. Jerry is also working on making connections for ongoing training and support from the U.S. based Dynamic Governance organization to provide more long-term support to the key Jamaican organic farming groups. This assignment should prove to be a turning point in organizational development for the Jamaican groups trained and will make it much easier to further improve these groups' functional capacity.