Rhyne Cureton’s invitation to experience in Ugandan agriculture came at a crucial moment in his life: He was dealing with depression and a low sense of self-worth that stemmed from some personal failures he endured. The agricultural mission trip he took in summer 2017 was just what he needed, and he is collecting donations through a GoFundMe page to return to the sub-Saharan African nation to again make a positive impact in 2018.
Cureton is a pig farmer from North Carolina, and his mission trip was done through a program called EATBETA, which stands for Evangelizing Africa Through Business Empowerment and Transformative Agriculture. The nonprofit organization, founded by Dr. Julius Sonko, sets out to transform rural livelihoods by alleviating unemployment and food shortage in sub-Saharan Africa. Sonko believes that empowering smallholder farmers, with skills in business and agriculture, would eventually help to transform rural livelihoods.
That’s exactly the potential that Cureton saw last year. Reflecting on his 2017 experience, Cureton said:
“To know that my knowledge could not help those pigs because these farmers were just too poor was heartbreaking. But the problem wasn’t how the pigs were raised, the problem was these humans are living in poverty with little assistance and training. It was a sobering moment to get my head out of my pig-loving ‘self’ to see that I needed to help solve a more pressing issue. With the hand plows that are being welded for this community, we hope to see an improvement on the villagers crop farming. Maybe that can translate into a better life for their sows … but I know it will translate to a better life for each villager.”
As of Monday afternoon, Cureton has raised $2,350 of his $3,500 goal.
“Do it for the People! Do it for the Pigs!” Last summer I was extended an amazing opportunity to travel to Uganda to teach livestock husbandry (primarily with pigs) and basic agricultural practices to Ugandan farmers in rural Uganda. This summer I would like to go back by raising money for my trip to support the mission I worked for! This is more so about helping these farmers by training them on how to raise pigs and other livestock as well as proper agricultural practices for crops and livestock to increase yields and gains. This experience also allows me to exercise my communication and problem-solving skills so that I can further my competency as an agricultural educator. As for swine, there are a lot of pigs in Uganda that are in terrible shape due to a lack of basic husbandry education. By supporting this trip you are giving Ugandan pig farmers the chance to learn how to keep their pigs healthy and happy while also saving the farmers time and money through education on proper management of their swine. All of this training will me done by me… Yes, ME. If I do not go there will not be anyone on the mission with experience in livestock to help these farmers. So if you have enjoyed my words and wisdom on pig farming, please help me travel to Uganda by supporting this trip! Please check out my GoFundMe page (link in bio) to hear how I was led to Uganda and why it is so important that I travel back. Even if you aren’t able to donate, that’s okay! I would just like to encourage everyone to spread the word about my trip. Feel free to repost this post and tag me! Every bit of support helps even if its literally $1 lol I will continue to post about this trip and the specific ways your support can help Uganda. Thank you #realpigfarming #pig #swine #nc #pork #agriculture #garden #sustainable #africa #uganda #ugandanknuckles #missions #missiontrip #evangelism #donate #support #nonprofit #farming#farm
Cureton said that many agricultural practices that are standard in the United States are not commonly placed with Ugandan farmers. Among the skills he hopes to teach are:
- Livestock husbandry (basic care)
- Livestock nutrition
- Livestock breeding
- Manure management
- Biosecurity and food safety
- Livestock to crop rotation
On his GoFundMe page, Cureton talks about many of the things he’s seen and the lessons he has already been able to impart.
“The better their farming practices the better the animals will be, the safer their food will be to eat, and the more money they can save from farming wisely,” Cureton said.
“Reasons to Support: Education for the Masses” This clip is just a glimpse of the people that I have trained and impacted on my last trip to Uganda. Just seeing this many pig farmers was exciting! My trip this summer isn’t just for a hand full, but rather an audience worth, of farmers who want to learn and make wiser decisions about how they raise pigs and other livestock. Knowledge is indeed power; power that will translate to money saved, money earned, healthier pigs, and happier families. Supporting my trip will give both Ugandan and Tanzanian farmers like these an opportunity to be the best pig farmer they can be. Do donate to my trip, check the link in the bio! Or share any of my recent posts! #realpigfarming #pig #swine #pork #hog #agriculture #sustainable #africa #uganda #tanzania #missions #missiontrip #animalwelfare #livestock #education #speaker