Cody Jones: Where are they now?

Returned AgriCorps Fellow: Cody Jones

Placement: OB Junior High School, Obomofodensua, Eastern Region, Ghana

Class: 2 (2015-16)

What are you up to now? Tell us about your day-to-day duties.

Today I raise livestock, my main focus is producing profitable pounds of meat from pasture. I currently raise and sell low input registered Black Angus cattle for breeding stock, graze and sell grass-fed beef and lamb, and am looking to increase my pastured pork and poultry operations. I am rotationally grazing my livestock in the summer and am working to improve the genetics of my herds by keeping the stock that performs best under my management style and what the land provides.

How did your time as an AgriCorps Fellow influence the next step in your career?

While serving as an AgriCorps Fellow I learned to really think outside the box and gained a new enthusiasm for experimenting and trying new methods of farming. I saw a lot of different types and styles of raising animals in Ghana and when I got back to the U.S. I tried raising a little bit of everything, rabbits, chickens, goats, sheep, pigs, etc. Now I have figured out what works for me and it is completely different than I would have imagined back in college. I don’t believe that I would have had the courage to try so many new things if I hadn’t served as an AgriCorps Fellow.

How did your time as an AgriCorps Fellow shape your views on international development?

Serving as an AgriCorps Fellow let me see very quickly that there were more similarities than differences between farmers in the US and in developing countries. Working with the 4-H model was just as effective in Ghana as it is in the US. Farmers everywhere want to learn and get better they just want someone else to try something new first. Working with students and teaching improved agriculture practices that they can use in their own projects helps to encourage students to try new things and test them on a small scale then they could use what worked best for them on a larger scale.