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2021 Annual Report
A new normal

EARTH in 2021

“Despite the critical role that rural communities play in global food production, more than 80 percent of the world’s extreme poverty remains concentrated in these areas. Hunger is increasing and we urgently need systemic changes at the scale of the challenges we face. EARTH is committed to food security, nature-positive agricultural practices, and new opportunities that increase prosperity around the world.”

Arturo Condo
President, EARTH University

EARTH in Numbers

Our Academic Program

Our Graduates’ Impact on the World

Valodia Flores: the Face of Collective Success

In 2021, Valodia Flores (‘09, Nicaragua) was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the 100 most influential women in Central America. She won first place in LEADS Mujer, a business support program for Central American women entrepreneurs, promoted by INCAE Business School, for which more than 1,700 women applied. In addition, she and her family have significantly grown Codornic, a company dedicated to the production and sale of quail eggs, creating jobs for 16 families. Valodia also currently serves as Agricultural Manager in a company dedicated to the cultivation of cassava in her country.

"In 2018, the unemployment rate in my country rose to 7%. We saw a number of people with no jobs, no opportunities, and no options. We decided to employ 2 quail farmers and then increased to 8, until we had the support from the 16 we work with today. This is an opportunity for their families because it is a project that allows them to have a fixed income even if they are producing in an extremely small area."

“Support Someone like You”
2021 Alumni Campaign

Once again, the EARTH University alumni community joined forces to provide scholarships for new generations of change agents to be able to study at EARTH. Their solidarity, which also included gifts from their families, friends and organizations, helped raise US$230,055 in 2021, which included a generous match from an anonymous donor.

Gifts were received from:

“EARTH’s alumni impacted not only my life, but my family’s, too. I hope to also impact the next generation, with whom I can share my knowledge. Not everyone has this opportunity, so I hope that I too can help open doors for others. I want to be a change agent.”

Jimena López (‘24, Guatemala)
Scholarship recipient

Growing EARTH’s Impact

Through EARTH Futures, we seek to grow the University’s contribution towards building more sustainable communities and food systems in rural areas around the world.

One of our flagship programs is the Mastercard Foundation–EARTH Fellowship Program launched in 2021. The program’s primary objective is to facilitate effective transitions and help accelerate the impact of recent graduates through one-year employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in the agriculture and rural development sector in Africa. In 2021, our first cohort of 16 Fellows participated in the Fellowship Program, hosted by a variety of private company, NGO and business incubator partners in 8 countries across the African continent.

“Growing professionally means gaining more experience and it’s exactly what the Fellowship Program has done for me. It has given me an opportunity and a platform where i am able to accomplish this.”

Precious Akampurira (‘19, Uganda)
MCF-EARTH Fellow with her start-up, Vascape

Since its creation in 2018, EARTH Futures has developed and implemented more than a dozen models aimed at building more vibrant, resilient, and sustainable rural communities. Understanding that partnerships are key to success, we have collaborated with local, regional, and global allies, reaching thousands of farmers, farmer organizations, groups of women and youth, and other disadvantaged groups in rural areas.

One of EARTH Futures’ key partners is the Costa Rica-United States Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA).

Thanks to this important alliance and CRUSA’s investment, EARTH Futures and its partners celebrated the following results in 2021:

  • Conservation and community development: We promoted the conservation of natural resources and the development of surrounding communities on the Parismina River and the Potrero - Caimital Biological Corridors by promoting the creation of local linkages and by strengthening community management actions, leadership training, environmental awareness, and business development.

  • Producers’ empowerment with Precision Agriculture strategies and Market Access: We worked with 70 small creole corn (Maíz Pujagua) producers on precision agriculture, sustainability, and market access and implemented best practices in 28 farms to strengthen the crop’s value chain in the Guanacaste province. Commercial ties between farmers and consumers were also developed to market Pujagua corn under favorable terms using digital channels.
  • Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience: We designed a series of hands-on workshops that provided adaptation and resilience best practices to 400+ producers from the Limón and Guanacaste regions.

An Alliance to Promote
Regenerative Agriculture

For over thirty years, EARTH University has been a leader in sustainable agriculture and environmental protection practices. Throughout its history, the University has incorporated principles of organic and regenerative farming in its forests, community, and commercial and academic farms.

In 2020, EARTH launched a project that integrates and advances regenerative organic practices on small cacao farms in Costa Rica. The project was implemented by EARTH and funded by Patagonia Provisions, a U.S. company that supports environmental organizations with bold, direct-action agendas aimed at building an equitable, inclusive, and diverse environmental movement. This high-impact initiative helped to strengthen and recover the soil on cacao farms, address the impact caused by the use of chemical products on the soil, and support climate change mitigation.

EARTH launched this innovative project by carefully integrating regenerative principles on its organic farm. For example, sheep and ducks were introduced as a chemical-free alternative to standard pest-control practices. Through a steady diet of pasture grass, weeds, and insects, these animals generate manure that serves as a rich fertilizer compost. This approach reduces the number of trucks needed to transport fertilizers from elsewhere, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and shortening the production chain.

Throughout 2021, the project leaders invited 80 cacao-producing families from the province of Limón to participate in hands-on training with a focus on regenerative agriculture concepts. The training program covered topics such as soil health, land management, animal welfare, and farmer and worker labor practices while promoting the use of good agricultural practices for organic crop production and soil regeneration.

“We are delighted to support EARTH University’s important work of bringing regenerative organic practices to these small cacao farms in Costa Rica. This effort is a model for farmers who see the need to move away from chemicals and thereby are respecting the natural ecosystem, which will improve the health of their own farms and communities,” said Birgit Cameron, Head of Patagonia Provisions.

In addition to this valuable community training, several EARTH students’
Graduation Projects in 2021 incorporated regenerative agriculture practices:

  • Reducing the chemical load for the control of Sigatoka on EARTH’s banana plantation.

  • Converting an organic farm into a regenerative farm based on the principles and components proposed by Regenerative Organic Certified.

  • Creating an heirloom seed bank to protect creole/native Latin American seeds for farmers and future generations.

  • Producing and using biochar as a regenerative soil resource in commercial plantations such as corn, cassava, papaya, and pineapple.

“Regenerative agriculture is not only a philosophical way of observing and conceptualizing agricultural production, but also fuses with the social sphere, human and labor rights, animal welfare, and good sustainable practices, all essential to EARTH’s principles,” said Mauricio Segura, Director of the Academic Administration.

EARTH has both the opportunity and the moral responsibility to contribute to building a world with inclusive, regenerative food systems that offer healthy food for all. We value collaborations with organizations like Patagonia Provisions that encourage innovation and smart agricultural practices. We look forward to more partnerships like this one to help us increase the impact of our mission in the years to come.

2021 Financial Summary

Year Ended December 31st, 2021

EARTH University

Careful stewardship of resources, together with growth in charitable gifts and commercial activities, are contributing to a healthy financial picture that enables us to fulfill our mission.

Salaries and benefits for personnel $12,492,503
Operating expenses $6,908,281
Equipment $513,809
Contingencies $34,155
Total $19,948,749

Sources of Revenue
Grants $11,142,627
Tuition paid by students $2,832,710
Other income (commercial activities and other) $905,435
Endowment $5,067,976
Total $19,948,749

How our Budget is Funded

  • Grants 56%
  • Endowment 25%
  • Tuition paid by students 14%
  • Other income 5%

EARTH University Foundation

From its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, the EARTH University Foundation – a registered 501(c)(3) public charity – provides vital funding for EARTH’s educational mission, programs and projects thanks to generous gifts from a global community of supporters.

Statement of Financial Position

Cash and cash equivalents $3,801,826
Pledge receivables, net $3,303,463
Endowment and other investments $82,342,633
Other assets $669,747
Total Assets $90,117,669
Liabilities and Net assets
Liabilities $317,547
Net assets $89,800,122
Total Liabilities and Net assets $90,117,669
Statement of Functional Expenses
Programs Fundraising Administrative Total expenses
Scholarships $4,914,472 $0 $0 $4,914,472
Project and program expenses $1,984,339 $0 $0 $1,984,339
Foundation Operations $269,614 $660,193 $440,800 $1,370,607
Total $7,168,425 $660,193 $440,800 $8,269,418

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Our Donors

We recognize and appreciate the generous support of the following donors whose gifts were received in 2021, with special thanks to those whose lifetime giving exceeds US$1 million. These individuals, businesses, foundations, governments, and international organizations make our mission possible.

    • Anonymous (2)
    • A.G. Leventis Foundation
    • Agencia Sueca de Cooperación Internacional
    • Banco BAC San José S.A
    • Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo - Fondo Japonés
    • Jane and Dameron Black III
    • The Cummins Foundation
    • Fundación CRUSA
    • Fundación Simón I. Patiño
    • Instituto para Formación y Aprovechamiento de Recursos Humanos de Panamá
    • Kalsec, Inc.
    • Katherine John Murphy Foundation
    • Mastercard Foundation
    • Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas de Panamá
    • Moore Family Foundation
    • Norad - Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
    • Karin and Mark Ohrstrom
    • Onward & Upward Initiative: A Charitable Trust
    • Open Society Foundations
    • † Denny and Tim Solso
    • Standard Fruit Company
    • U.S. Agency for International Development, American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (USAID/ASHA)
    • U.S. Department of Energy
    • W. K. Kellogg Foundation
    • The Wege Foundation
    • WEM Foundation

Gifts received in 2021

    • Mastercard Foundation
    • Anonymous (1)
    • AHB Foundation
    • Jessie Harris and Woody Cunningham
    • U.S. Small Business Administration
    • U.S. Agency for International Development, American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (USAID/ASHA)
    • A.G. Leventis Foundation
    • The Coca-Cola Foundation
    • The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation
    • The Edward Colston Foundation Inc.
    • Five Together Foundation
    • General Motors Corporation
    • Kalsec, Inc.
    • Gerald A. and Karen A. Kolschowsky Foundation, Inc.
    • Dr. Khan Nedd - WKKF Trustee Advised Fund
    • Karin and Mark Ohrstrom
    • Charles R. O'Malley Charitable Lead Trust
    • Schnieders Family Foundation
    • SSB Charitable Corporation
    • The Wege Foundation
    • Anonymous (3)
    • Banco BAC San José S.A.
    • Tracey Robertson-Carter and Christopher Carter
    • Frieda's Specialty Produce
    • Fundación CRUSA
    • Adrienne Meisel and Rand Sparling
    • Moore Family Foundation
    • Katherine John Murphy Foundation
    • Lilla and Chris Ohrstrom
    • Anonymous (5)
    • The Americana Foundation
    • Claire Lewis Arnold and H. R. Arnold III
    • Auto Mercado S.A.
    • Banco Davivienda (Costa Rica) S.A.
    • Banco de Desarrollo Rural S.A.
    • Luiza Angélica Barata Russo and Ewaldo Mario Kuhlmann Russo
    • Jean Blackwell and Kimberly Williams
    • The Butler Foundation
    • Susan Carter
    • Fundación Simón I. Patiño
    • Hoffman-Brouse Foundation
    • JSA Sustainable Wealth Management
    • Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology of Belize
    • George L. Ohrstrom Jr. Foundation
    • Sally and Ken Ohrstrom
    • Lee and Peter Fund
    • Starbucks Corporation
    • Diana Wege
    • Jeannie Wright
    • Anonymous (2)
    • AGEARTH Ecuador
    • Banana Enterprises Limited
    • Beca Semilla Guatemala
    • Jane and Dameron Black III
    • Deb Broderick, Kay Nesbitt and Annie Cooper
    • Central Azucarero de Alanje, S.A.
    • Arturo Condo and Leonor Gutiérrez Fernández
    • Dream Volunteers
    • Janet Eastridge
    • Fundación Enlasa
    • Fundación Ing. Agr. Juan José Castelló Zambrano
    • Fundación Riojas Aguirre
    • Elma Goduto and Tim Conlon
    • Ministerio de Educación Superior, Ciencia y Tecnología – RD
    • Programa Presidencial de Becas Honduras 20/20
    • The Trio Foundation of St. Louis
    • Edna Wardlaw Charitable Trust
    • Azucarera El Viejo
    • Shirley Bowser
    • Diane and Richard Clark
    • Duvall and J. Rex Fuqua
    • Grupo Cadelga
    • Journey Charitable Foundation
    • Mark McGahan
    • Dush Pathmanandam
    • JaMel and Thomas Perkins
    • Susan and Richard Vander Veen III
    • Anonymous (1)
    • Yanine Chan Blanco
    • Kathleen and Douglas Colson
    • Laura Frey and Erico Gomes
    • Erika González-Akre and Thomas Akre
    • Janet Haines
    • Emanuela and Ali Hedayat
    • The Isaf Family Foundation, Inc.
    • Alan Kelso
    • Therus Kolff
    • Patricia Loría Madrigal and Luis Chacón Menéndez
    • Panama Rainwater
    • Manuel Ramírez Umaña
    • Variedades del Trópico Húmedo
    • Accenture Costa Rica
    • Fondo Pánfilo Tabora / Rambután de Colombia
    • Pam and Rick Foster
    • Garnier BBDO
    • Juan Giraldo Restrepo
    • Alexa Glo Belli
    • Gina and Rich Kelley
    • W. K. Kellogg Foundation
    • The Olojede Family
    • Patricia Pérez Siemon and Ramón González
    • Pontes de Arrpal, S.A.
    • Larsen Fund / Susan Ritz
    • Faith Vruggink and Victor Sánchez
    • Allan Acosta Castro
    • Micki and Michael Besancon
    • Black Dog Foundation
    • Kathy and G. Niles Bolton
    • Maureen and John Bridgeland
    • C.H. Robinson Worldwide
    • Angélica Cocha Barros
    • Carol and John Drake
    • Wendy and Hugh Durden
    • EarthShare
    • Empresa Comercial del Pacífico S.A.
    • Helene Harding and Patrick Briggs
    • Oscar Hernández Venegas
    • Christine and Jon Hoek
    • Bobbo Jetmundsen
    • F. Martin and Dorothy A. Johnson Family Fund
    • Jayne Lipman and Bob Goodman
    • Louise and David Lutton
    • Pat and Bobby Moser
    • Sharon Pauli
    • Anne and Gustavo Puente
    • Meridith Rentz and Dean Baker
    • Jeanine and Guy Saperstein
    • Kay Betts and John Sibley
    • Judy and Rick Smith
    • Theresa Fulton and Steven Tanksley
    • Toribio Services SRL
    • Amy and Andrew Vaughn
    • Margaret and Terry Wittenberg
    • Randi S. N. Yoder and Michael J. Henley

Alumni Directed Gifts
† Deceased

Our Internship Hosts

We thank the following corporations and institutions around the world who hosted our third-year and fourth-year students as interns in 2021. The internship helps our students build critical leadership skills and networks, while deepening their knowledge and giving them the opportunity to apply the skills developed at EARTH in a professional setting.

    • 12Tree Finance
    • 12Tree Finance Panamá
    • Adama Crop Solutions
    • A. G. Leventis Foundation
    • Agricenter S.A.
    • Agrícola El Cántaro S.A.
    • Agrícola Gros de Costa Rica S.A.
    • AgriExport S.A.
    • Agro Advisers
    • Agrodata
    • Agroindustrial Piñas del Bosque S.A.
    • Agroindustrias Successo S.A.
    • Agronpaxi CIA. LTDA.
    • Agropecuaria Popoyán S.A. (La Carreta)
    • Alabama A&M University
    • Alfagro S.A.
    • ALIA2 S.A.
    • Concentrados de El General S.A.
    • Asociación de Apicultores de San Pedro de Vilcabambav
    • Asociación de Cacaocultores Juan Cruz de Guaranal
    • Auburn University
    • Auto Mercado CR Heredia / Los Santos
    • Auto Mercado
    • AVSF (Agronomes et Vétérinaires sans Frontièrs)
    • Baak Pluimvee B.V
    • Belize Agricultural Health Authority
    • Banexcel SAv
    • BioRomeo
    • B&C Exportadores Del Valle De Ujarrás S.A.
    • CACEP Chocolates
    • Cafecol (Centro Agroecológico del Café)
    • Camfed Malawi
    • Centro de Agricultura de Precisión (CAP), EARTH
    • CENIBIOT (Centro Nacional de Innovaciones Biotecnológicas)
    • CERCOL S.A.
    • Cesar’s Bananas
    • Chocolate del Caribe S.A.
    • CIGAC (Centro Internacional Genético Agricenter)
    • CISERP (Centro de Investigación y Servicios Profesionales)
    • Citrofrut Juice Company
    • CLUSA de El Salvador
    • CODECE
    • Colorado State University
    • Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP)
    • Consejo Nacional de Producción de Costa Rica (CNP)
    • Cooperativa de Agroecoturismo y Servicios Múltiples de Cartagena, La Rita de Pococí, RL (COOPECUNACR)
    • Cooperativa de Productores de Leche Dos Pinos R.L
    • Cooperativa de Usuários do Freixo do Meio
    • Corporación Bananera Nacional (Corbana)
    • Corporación Gomez SSA
    • Corporación Montelimar
    • Corporación PRO
    • Cosmocel S.A.
    • Costa Farms
    • Cukra Development Corporation SA
    • DISAGRO / Abonos del Pacífico S.A.
    • Diximant S.A. (Ecuador)
    • DOLE Fresh Vegetables
    • Don Juan Chocolate and Coffee Tours Monteverde
    • Drontek
    • Dulce Miel, SA
    • EARTH Futures Guatemala
    • Eco Finca Luna del Puente
    • Empresa La Unión
    • Escuela Agrícola Panamericana, Zamorano
    • Estación Experimental Patacamaya
    • Ex. Hacienda El Zoquital
    • Farai The Farmer
    • Fazenda Colorado
    • Fertilizer Seed Grain Ltd
    • Fincas Familia Rogers SA
    • Finca La Hilda
    • Finca Santa Elena
    • Finca Tierra de Sueños
    • Fito Service
    • Fri-el Ethiopia Farming & Processing PLC
    • Fundación CIPAV
    • Ganadería Las Vegas SL
    • GAOS
    • Gosa Banana
    • Grande Palma
    • Green Gold Social Enterprise Ltd
    • Greenhouse Ventures Limited Ltd
    • Grupo Grand María
    • Hacienda don Manuel
    • Hacienda Ganadera Betania y La Nena
    • Hacienda Quintana
    • Hacienda San José (Vichada)
    • Hacienda Victoria
    • Harmony Organic Farm
    • Helechos Ticos
    • Hetgeertje
    • HFT Seedservices S.A.
    • Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, Centro de Investigaciones Biotecnológicas
    • ITSH (Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Hopelchén)
    • Instituto de Hortofruticultura Subtropical y Mediterránea "La Mayora"
    • Ka Kuxtal Much Meyaj AC
    • La Liga Agrícola Industrial de la Caña de Azúcar (LAICA)
    • Lakesyde Farm
    • Lechería Pasajinak
    • Life Rid
    • Linda Vista S.A.
    • Lodder V.O.F
    • Louisiana State University
    • Lukmar SA
    • Martinetti Cocoa
    • McCain Foods
    • McGill University
    • Mercados Nacionales de la Cadena de Frío SA
    • Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Ressources Naturelles et du Développement Rural Haití
    • Ministry of Agriculture Nevis Island Administration
    • Moloa’a Organic Farm
    • Multiples Pagali S.A.
    • Nicoverde
    • North Dakota State University
    • Organismo Internacional Regional de Sanidad Agropecuaria (OIRSA)
    • Oná S.A.
    • Orgánicos del Trópico S.A. de C.V.
    • Palmeras de los Andes SA
    • Panafricare
    • Pantaleón S.A.
    • Paraíso de Ayotoxco SPR de RL
    • Patronato Pro Educación Guaquitepec A.C
    • PECEGE (Instituto de Pesquisas e Educação Continuada em Economia e Gestão de Empresas)
    • Penn State University
    • Playa Grande Golf and Ocean Club (SALTWATER SRL)
    • Productores Orgánicos de Calakmul A.C.
    • Productos Agropecuarios VISA
    • ProNuvo S.A.
    • P&F Costa Rica Flower Farms
    • Quail Valley Golf Club
    • Rancho Don Rey
    • Rancho Margot
    • Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid
    • Republicneg S.A.
    • San Francisco Bay Coffee Company
    • Selva Negra S.A.
    • Servicio Veterinario Montefrío
    • Siembras Globales Siglo S.R.L.
    • SMAP
    • Sociedad Agrícola e Industrial San Carlos
    • South Jungle Spirit SRL
    • Standard Fruit Company de Costa Rica SA
    • Starthub Africa
    • Stellenbosch University
    • Wematrans BV
    • TicoFrut Agrícola S.A.
    • Tierra de Sueños
    • Two Roots Farm
    • Universidade Estadual do Maranhão (UEMA)
    • University of Florida
    • University of Georgia
    • University of Nebraska - Lincoln
    • Unión de Organizaciones Campesinas Cacaoteras (UNOCACE)
    • V8 Ranch
    • Zambeef Products PLC
    • Zara División Agrícola S.A

Zakeyu Tawonga (‘21, Malawi)

Tawonga returned home to work as an intern at CAMFED, an organization that seeks to eradicate poverty in Africa through the education and empowerment of women and girls. Thanks to the organization’s support in her youth, she was able to finish high school and, later, study at EARTH.

“During my internship, I worked on creating an agriculture manual for Malawian girls. The manual describes how to develop an agricultural business, how to adapt to climate change, and how to responsibly manage resources. I was also in charge of working with women with small gardens, to analyze and improve their processes. Meanwhile, as part of CAMFED, I held sessions with students to talk about my experience, how I managed to get to the University and travel to other countries to train professionally. The students’ reactions were very effusive when I told them: ‘I'm Tawonga and, to arrive at my University, I have to take three plane rides.’ That inspires them.”

Our Boards and Leadership Team in 2021


Thank you for believing in EARTH’s mission!

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