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Rojas-Cifuentes Receives President’s Volunteer Service Award

North Dakota Foundation Seedstocks Assistant Director Gonzalo Rojas-Cifuentes was awarded the prestigious President’s Volunteer Service Award for contributing over 350 hours of volunteer work in Guinea, West Africa in September 2017. The award recognizes Americans who engage in volunteer service and inspire others to do so.
 
 

June 1, 2018

North Dakota Foundation Seedstocks Assistant Director Gonzalo Rojas-Cifuentes was awarded the prestigious President’s Volunteer Service Award for contributing over 350 hours of volunteer work in Guinea, West Africa in September 2017. Established in 2002 by former President George W. Bush, the award recognizes Americans who engage in volunteer service and inspire others to do so.

Rojas volunteered for Winrock International, an organization that engages individuals to help provide technical assistance and training to various United States Agency for International Development (USAID) programs. He spent two weeks in Guinea, West Africa as a volunteer for the USAID’s Agriculture Education and Market Improvement Program (AEMIP).

Through the AEMIP, Rojas provided training for faculty and students at the Institute Superior of Agronomy and Veterinary of Faranah (ISAV/F), Guinea’s only agricultural university. The objective of the training was to present information about plant breeding and selection for yield, diseases, submergence tolerance, quality and taste in rice, which is a staple food in Guinea.

“This was a fantastic experience,” said Rojas. “To be able to share knowledge with faculty and students at the ISAV/F was very good. To see and learn about how their communities work regarding land distribution and crop practices was very important. It allowed me to prepare recommendations based on their own practices, instead of what we do in the United States. It made me appreciate what we take for granted in our lives.”

The President’s Volunteer Service Award is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service and administered by Points of Light. Recipients receive a personalized certificate, an official pin, medallion or coin and a congratulatory letter from the President of the United States. Learn more at www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/.

Read the full article about Rojas’ volunteer mission at www.ag.ndsu.edu/plantsciences/news/rojas-cifuentes-volunteers-in-west-africa.

Author: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123,
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384,

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