This week, Heifer Haiti and local partner organization, Tèt kole, held a three-day training for a group of goat breeding center owners in Montrouis in western Haiti. This group of owners are part of the first cohort of Heifer's REACH program.
A total of 22 participants, men and women, young and old, gathered from six of Haiti's departments where REACH is implemented: Northeast, Northwest, Centre, Nippes, the West and the Grand'Anse. The owners met and networked with each other and learned more about Heifer International's philosophy, history and methods.
Training topics included Heifer's 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development, the general context of livestock production in Haiti, importance of breeding centers, breeding center care and characteristics, animal production techniques, animal health and wellbeing, forage management, business management, marketing and others. Future plans include visiting successful commercial farms in the Dominican Republic.
Participants were pleased with the trainings, as they will be better prepared to manage the important work of breeding center ownership. Although many have backgrounds in agriculture and livestock, the introduction to new operating techniques and skills will set them up for success.
This diverse group of producers and goat breeding center owners became aligned around a common target during the training: the success of REACH on an individual scale, and ultimately improving the fates of their communities.
When asked about the importance of Heifer's REACH program, participants said they think it is timely, because they were missing the tools for success. They are confident this program will benefit their respective communities and the entire country.
This introductory training session will not only help breeding center owners modernize their farming practices, it also serves as the launching pad for the REACH program. Training participants before had a common passion for agriculture and livestock; as a result of the training, they have become a group of budding entrepreneurs with the yearning for success within the program.
The signing of contracts between Heifer Haiti and this new group of entrepreneurial goat breeders marks a decisive step in the implementation of REACH. The participants would like to thank Heifer from the bottom of their hearts for this program, and Heifer wishes them well.
Read recent blog posts about Heifer's REACH program here, and visit www.heifer.org/reachout to give directly to this groundbreaking program.