CNFA (Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture) named Jamie Rhoads, the assistant director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut, the group’s volunteer of the year. Rhoads shares the honor with 30 volunteers in Southern Africa who worked together to train hundreds of farmers in peanut cultivation and aflatoxin management. 

As a response to pandemic-related travel restrictions, CNFA worked with the Peanut Innovation Lab to create a system that allowed local volunteers in Southern Africa to take the Peanut Innovation Lab’s online Groundnut Academy courses, then train farmers in what they had learned. As local volunteers and farmers learned through 57 training sessions in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, Rhoads held question and answer sessions from the U.S. 

Volunteers also shared their experiences in the field with Rhoads and other volunteers. “Mr. Rhoads was always ready to engage with the local volunteers and had a wonderful rapport with them. The volunteers exhibited great enthusiasm over their assignments and despite often very poor internet always tried to participate in the question-and-answer sessions,” CNFA said in an announcement about the award. 

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