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Agricultural Markets and Livelihoods Specialist, Resilient Economies

Bennett LaFond is an agroecologist with eight years of experience working to strengthen U.S. and international agriculture and food systems. His work has centered around developing market-led approaches to improving livelihoods and creating resilience for farmers and their committees. He has worked with agribusinesses; a broad range of U.S. state and federal agencies; international donors and non-profits; and tribal, state, and national governments to design and implement programs to help farmers and their communities increase resilience, earnings, and production.

In his current role, LaFond supports Abt’s development of winning technical solutions for USAID with the Resilient Economies team. He provides strategic focus to projects and clients for climate smart agriculture and food security.. He has written and led solutioning for opportunities across Abt’s focus areas including livelihoods, agriculture-led economic growth, climate smart agriculture, and climate resilience and disaster risk finance. He recently developed technical solutions and wrote the winning proposal for the $20 million USAID-funded Caribbean Resilient Economies and Sectors (RESET) activity, which aims to restore national economies disproportionally damaged by natural disasters.

Prior to Abt, LaFond led implementation strategies with USDA, EPA, and FEMA to develop flood resilience, conserve critical species, and increase productivity for farmers in Washington State. His team’s project designs combine agroforestry with fish and waterfowl conservation to create access to traditional foods for tribal nations while simultaneously storing flood water in disaster events and protecting agricultural lands. In Nicaragua, LaFond managed a program to develop microbusinesses and increase business skills for coffee farmers. He led research to pilot production strategies that combined soil conservation with agricultural productivity and resilience, including hedgerow intercropping, silvo-pasture, and forest gardens.


  • Agroecology and agricultural resilience
  • Climate smart agriculture
  • Livelihoods
  • Market systems
Bennett LaFond