W. Kirk Miller (left) receives his USAID Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer award from Gregory Gottlieb, head of the USAID Food Security Bureau.
WASHINGTON — Ohio native W. Kirk Miller and three others were honored recently at the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer Volunteer Appreciation event for their outstanding service this year to reduce hunger in poor communities worldwide.
Technical experts Dr. Peder Cuneo, Dr. Roger Ellis, Miller and Gary Mutz were recognized for volunteering their time and skills to a variety of hunger-fighting programs, ranging from livestock health and care to agribusiness strategies and cooperative development, in the Middle East, North Africa and West Africa.
Fighting world hunger is at the heart of USAID’s new Feed-the-Future initiative, which was implemented in May to further the U.S. pledge of $3.5 billion toward agricultural development made at the 2009 G-8 summit in response to rising world food prices and food riots.
USAID’s Farmer-to-Farmer program also benefits U.S. taxpayers because it helps development aid dollars stretch further, says ACDI/VOCA Volunteer Director Diana Roach. In 2010, volunteers fulfilled 522 assignments worldwide, providing direct formal training to 16,853 beneficiaries — one-third of them women.
Miller, of Ohio, has served agribusinesses and the U.S. government in agriculture and international trade for more than 40 years, attaining the positions of administrator of the Federal Grain Inspection Service and general sales manager for USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.
He helped Ghanaians create a five-year strategic plan for the soybean industry.