Why fruit and vegetable research matters, with updates from our partners around the world
The Trellis Fund, operated by the Horticulture Innovation Lab, connects organizations in developing countries with U.S. graduate students who have agricultural expertise, generating benefits for both the students and the in-country institutions.
Editor’s note: After this original announcement, two changes were made to student assignments and are reflected below.
The Horticulture Innovation Lab team has selected nine graduate students to support Trellis Fund projects in Africa and Asia in 2017.
Through their work on the Trellis Fund projects, the graduate students will apply their agricultural expertise to support local organizations as they work together to help smallholder farmers better grow fruits and vegetables.
The Horticulture Innovation Lab is now recruiting graduate students with agricultural expertise to participate in nine new Trellis Fund projects in Africa and Asia.
U.S. graduate students from North Carolina State University, the University of Florida, the University of California, Davis, and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa are eligible to apply.
The deadline for applications is Nov. 4, 2016.
Selected students will work to support a six-month project, with 100 hours of remote work and also travel for 1-2 weeks of in-country work. Projects will take place during 2017 in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Cambodia and Nepal.
The Horticulture Innovation Lab has announced nine new projects in Africa and Asia as part of its Trellis Fund program.
Each of these six-month projects is funded with a $2,000 grant, with work scheduled to begin in 2017. A U.S. graduate student with related expertise will be matched to each project, to provide additional agricultural knowledge and support for local goals.
“We are pleased to build new relationships with local organizations, with support from our innovative Trellis Fund program,” said Elizabeth Mitcham, director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab at the University of California, Davis. “We believe this model, which links knowledgeable U.S. university students with local, on-the-ground practitioners, can help further extend horticultural expertise to farmers nearby.”
Editor’s Note: Liz Hohenberger, one of the UC Davis grad students who manages our Trellis Fund, shares a Thank You note sent by an organization that had previously received funding from the Trellis Fund.
The grants that the Horticulture Innovation Lab awards through its Trellis Fund aren’t huge; we fund 6-month projects for $2,000, matching small organizations with U.S. graduate students who can provide expert support. Since the Horticulture Innovation Lab also funds million-dollar projects, this may not seem like much, but we know that Trellis Fund projects can have a lasting impact on the graduate students (think of them as tomorrow’s agricultural leaders) and the local organizations that work together.
We recently received an email from one of the first organizations to receive Trellis funding, a reminder of how big of a difference this small grant can make. The email from Uganda started with:
“THANK YOU THE TRELLIS FUND. YOU GAVE US THE VERY FIRST PUSH!”
As one of the graduate student program managers of the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s Trellis Fund, the reality of managing 15 small projects across 9 countries in the last year has meant a lot of time spent at my computer. I love what I do, but I find it easy to get consumed in my own projects. My world can easily become compressed to that which exists inside my computer screen.
Attending the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s annual meeting this year in Siem Reap, Cambodia, was a bit of a wake-up call for me. Getting to meet many of our partners and fellow development practitioners — whose names I’ve read in emails, reports and project proposals for as long as I’ve worked here — brought the scope of our work to life in a whole new way.