Dr. Teresa Mellish
In 1970, Dr. Teresa Mellish and her new husband Ken decided to embark upon a life-changing adventure by taking on Cuso International volunteer placements halfway around the world. Teresa taught Agricultural Economics at Kolej Pertanian Malaysia, while Ken conducted livestock nutrition research with the Malaysian Agricultural Research Development Institute (MARDI).
Through volunteering, Teresa experienced different agricultural practices and connected with staff and students from the Kampongs. She developed a new perspective on how agriculture development works, as well as the benefits it brings to the host country and to Canadian volunteers.
Teresa and Ken appreciated that volunteering allowed them to work and travel together. “We always wanted to see the world,” remembers Teresa. During their placement, Teresa and Ken explored Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Burma, Afghanistan and Iran.
Upon returning to Canada, Teresa had an extensive career with the Prince Edward Island government, where she supported effective agricultural practices.
In 1980, Teresa helped found Farmers Helping Farmers (FHF), an award-wining not-for-profit organization that partners with farming families in Kenya on practical projects to support sustainable subsistence farming.
In 2011, Teresa received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Prince Edward Island for her contributions to sustainable international development.
Now retired, Teresa remains active with FHF, as well as the Dutch Warmblood horse breeding farm she shares with Ken, the couple’s children and grandchildren.