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The 29th Annual ECHO® International Agriculture Conference

Reflecting,
Renewing,
Restoring Hope.

November 15-17, 2022 Fort Myers, Florida

The ECHO® International Agriculture Conference

Why Attend?

For twenty-eight years, ECHO has brought together networks of like-minded individuals devoted to eradicating hunger and improving lives through agriculture and community development. For the past two years, due to novel coronavirus, ECHO’s Annual Conference moved online. This year we are returning to our in-person event. We are thrilled to invite you to join us in Fort Myers, Florida on November 15th-17th to connect once again together on ECHO’s Florida Campus. The ECHO International Agriculture Conference will return with speakers addressing agricultural challenges, personal experiences, and strategies for improving the lives of millions who daily face food insecurity.

What to expect from this year's conference:

  • World-class keynote speakers
  • Interactive afternoon workshops on ECHO’s Global Farm
  • Evening Breakout Sessions sharing innovative techniques and approaches

Who Should Attend?

This conference will especially benefit current or aspiring international agricultural development workers. At this conference, you will get to network with professionals who share your context and your passions!

  • Short-term or career missionaries
  • National community leaders and farmers
  • Leaders of development/relief-oriented organizations
  • University undergraduate, graduate students and professors
  • International project volunteers (e.g. Peace Corps)
When
Tuesday - Thursday November 15-17, 2022
Where
Fort Myers, Florida ECHO Global Farm & Holiday Inn
Register Now
29th Annual Event

The plenary speaker roster this year features experts in areas of nutritional education, foundations for farming, and utilization of farmer field schools. Topics to be presented will range from the importance of anthropological considerations to community development to the specific uses of vetiver in smallholder systems.


Jane Overstreet

Jane will be encouraging us from God's Word and how reflecting, renewing, and restoring hope seems to be one of the greatest needs of Christians serving in leadership roles, across our world today.

Jane Overstreet is the President / CEO of Development Associates International (DAI) a non-profit organization providing training and consulting in leadership and organizational management to more than 100,000 Christian leaders in 82 countries annually.  Jane is a lawyer who has also provided legal consulting for numerous other Christian organizations.  She serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations and was an adjunct professor at Eastern University.  Mrs. Overstreet has been married for 42 years to Harold, who also worked with DAI before he retired. They have three children and eight grandchildren.

Below you'll find the schedule for the 2022 ECHO International Agriculture Conference. We'll keep this page regularly updated with all the new speakers and sessions.

6:30 AM 8:00 AM

Breakfast & Late Registration

Check-in for those who do not arrive on Monday.
Breakfast at the hotel is complementary for guests staying at the conference hotel.


8:00 AM 9:00 AM

Welcome, Devotions, and Announcements

ECHO President/CEO


9:00 AM 11:30 AM

Plenary Sessions

Morning plenary speakers will address agricultural challenges, personal experiences, and strategies for improving the lives of millions who daily face food insecurity.


12:15 PM 1:30 PM

Lunch

Lunch is served at the ECHO® Global Farm. (Included in your registration)


1:30 PM 2:30 PM

Afternoon Workshops Session 1


2:30 PM 3:00 PM

Break


3:00 PM 4:00 PM

Afternoon Workshops Session 2


4:15 PM AND 4:45 PM

Bus Departure

Transportation from the ECHO® Global Farm is provided at 4:15 and 4:45. buses depart from the walkway in front of the Bookstore/Nursery.


5:00 PM 7:00 PM

Dinner

Dinner is a great opportunity for networking. Tuesday evening dinner is your choice, on your own.


7:00 PM 7:45 PM

Evening Breakout Sessions


8:00 PM 8:45 PM

Evening Breakout Sessions


 

7:00 - 8:00 PM

 

8:10 - 8:40 PM

ROOM A
7:00 - 8:00 PM

Update on Ongoing Moringa Research

Grace Ju Miller

Grace has been conducting Moringa research for 20 years with undergraduate students. This presentation will be a research update on moringa as an antibacterial plant and water purification option. Tissue culture and regeneration of moringa, as well as future use in biotechnology, nutrition and pharmacology will be discussed.


 
8:10 - 8:40 PM

Addressing Future Global Food Security Now

Kirsten Roe

To provide sufficient and affordable food for an estimated 9 to 12 billion people by 2050, crop yields will need to increase by 60-130%, cropland will need to expand, and inputs will need to be added. Future global food security needs to be addressed immediately. What is required for food security? How can each person play a role in assuring future food security?


ROOM B
7:00 - 8:00 PM

Mini-farms as Learning Tools in Senegal

Noah Elhardt

The Beersheba Project is a discipleship-based training farm in Senegal that provides an 11-month internship program. Now in its 8th year, Beersheba has trained over 120 interns from 12 countries while building up a profitable commercial farm with 20 full-time employees. Here we explore some of the lessons learned along the way. We will particularly examine the tension between the commercial and educational components of the farm, and the game-changing role that ownership- exemplified by our mini-farmshas played in adult learning for us.


 
8:10 - 8:40 PM

Permanent Raised Garden Beds

Josh Jamison

After years of struggling to grow vegetables in infertile, sandy soils, members of the h.e.a.r.t Village in Central Florida radically improved their growing conditions by building permanent raised garden beds. This form of no-till, sustainable gardening allows for high production in challenging locations because the soil can be sculpted from the ground up. This session will discuss the basics of building permanent raised bed gardens, maintaining soil fertility, annual cropping cycles and strategies for obtaining maximum food production on small spaces.


ROOM C
7:00 - 8:00 PM

Importance of Animal Source Food to Child Nutrition in Low and Middle Income Countries

Dr. Heather Anderson

This presentation will highlight the work occurring in the USAID Livestock Systems Innovation Lab that University of Florida hosts. Focus will be on research of how sustainable livestock systems improve human health, nutrition, and economic status.


 
8:10 - 8:40 PM

Moving Toward Sustainability- Harvesting 4 Haiti and Planting For Hope and Future

Gordon Clark

Our goal is to help reduce poverty by assisting a Haitian agriculture initiative with financial and business resources until they have become self-sustaining. This talk will discuss the challenges and successes this program has had. They have been able to purchase additional farmland from sales of produce. Crops grown include black beans, cowpeas, plantain, mango, limes, and soursop.


ROOM F
7:00 - 8:00 PM

Experiences in Solar Fruit Drying: Panel Discussion

Mike McLaughlin, Roger Gietzen, Erin McGuire, and Mary Benner

This session will be a discussion with practitioners and researchers who have been promoting solar fruit drying in the global south. The panel will discuss the various solar dryers they have been using along with the successes and challenges they have faced with the promotion of fruit drying.


 
8:10 - 8:40 PM

Developing the Next Generation of Leaders in International Agriculture Development

Dr. Natalie Coers

Who are the next leaders in international agricultural development work? The leadership gap continues to grow, especially in the non-profit sector. We will discuss a basic framework for leadership development, skills needed, and the role you can play through mentoring. Join this session to discover some practical tips and share your best practices.


6:30 AM 8:00 AM

Breakfast

Breakfast at the hotel is complementary for guests staying at the conference hotel.


8:00 AM 9:00 AM

Worship, Devotions, and Announcements


9:00 AM 11:45 AM

Plenary Sessions

Morning plenary speakers will address agricultural challenges, personal experiences, and strategies for improving the lives of millions who daily face food insecurity.


12:15 PM 1:30 PM

Lunch

Lunch is served at the ECHO® Global Farm. (Included in your registration)


1:30 PM 2:30 PM

Afternoon Workshops Session 1


2:30 PM 3:00 PM

Break


3:00 PM 4:00 PM

Afternoon Workshops Session 2


4:15 PM AND 4:45 PM

Bus Departure

Transportation from the ECHO® Global Farm is provided at 4:15 and 4:45. buses depart from the walkway in front of the Bookstore/Nursery.


5:00 PM 7:00 PM

Dinner

Dinner is a great opportunity for networking. Wednesday evening dinner is your choice, on your own.


7:00 PM 7:45 PM

Evening Breakout Sessions 50 Minutes


8:00 PM 8:45 PM

Evening Breakout Sessions 30 Minutes


 

7:00 - 8:00 PM

 

8:10 - 8:40 PM

ROOM A
7:00 - 8:00 PM

Mechanization of Conservation Agriculture

Will Austin

This presentation will cover ways that Institute for Affordable Transportation (IAT) and its partners have been creating appropriate technology to integrate mechanization into Farming God’s Way (FGW). IAT’s farming history began with food plot implements and then transitioned to conservation farming after receiving training at ECHO. Our goal is to provide tools that help smallholder farmers (specifically those who have mastered manual FGW and FFF techniques) to expand to 5 or 10 acres.


 
8:10 - 8:40 PM

Foodlife in Peace Building

Gordon Clark

'Foodlife' is a word coined by Toshihiro Takami, founder of the Asian Rural Institute (ARI), to describe the inseparable relationship between food and life. This concept guides the Food, Education and Sustainable Table (FEAST) process in this rural leader training program on an organic farm. In a world torn apart by ever increasing conflict, learn how FEAST fosters peacebuilding and reconciliation among people from various parts of the world.


ROOM B
7:00 - 8:00 PM

Determining Appropriate Technologies for Communities through Design and Analysis of a Market Assessment Survey (Case Study highlighted, Lake Bosomtwe, Ghana, West Africa)

Grace Baldwin

Agricultural extension farms provide a unique platform to facilitate educational infrastructure in the form of classroom settings and demonstration plots, and to facilitate extension outreach services. This workshop will specifically address how development workers can create, carryout, and critically evaluate primary survey data to propose appropriate technologies that address community needs within their target areas.


 
8:10 - 8:40 PM

Understanding the Power of Convergence

Dale Bolton

The mission of Thrive is to create a scalable model that empowers trainers to transform communities by teaching sustainable, natural and organic agriculture, enabling them to fight disease and generate income. This presentation will look at how Thrive uses the power of a multidisciplinary approach for development work, covering four emerging global trends that have a particularly important impact on developing countries, especially when they are all combined in one setting. The talk will also discuss how Thrive moved from using a top-down approach to problem-solving to a bottom-up approach.


ROOM C
7:00 - 8:00 PM

How Growing Fruits can Help People Get on a Path Out of Poverty: Lessons from Madagascar

Dan Turk

This talk will explore fruit tree programs; successes with tangerines (achieved) and mangos (in progress) will be presented as well as lessons learned from over 20 years of experience working with the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (FJKM). Dan will share pitfalls to avoid, mistakes to be minimized, and keys to success.


 
8:10 - 8:40 PM

Using High Tunnels and Mosquito Screening for Season Extension of Vegetables

Danny Blank and Ekachai Jaja

High tunnels can be a low-tech option for extending the season of high-value vegetable crops. 'Protected agriculture,' essentially greenhouse plastic above crops, is well known to dramatically improve crop production and value.


ROOM D
7:00 - 8:40 PM

Poster Session

Facilitated by Dr. Tim Motis and Stacy Swartz

ECHO Florida’s fifth annual poster session. Attendees who submitted a poster will present their research findings.


ROOM F
7:00 - 8:40 PM

Latin America/Caribbean Networking Session

Facilitated by ECHO® LAC Team

We invite all those involved, or interested in being involved, in Latin America and the Caribbean to join this session for a time of connecting with each other, and hearing brief updates about ECHO’s support to the regional network. We will highlight recent resources and opportunities, particularly for the Haiti and Central American networks.


6:30 AM 8:00 AM

Breakfast

Breakfast at the hotel is complementary for guests staying at the conference hotel.


8:00 AM 8:45 AM

Worship, Devotions, and Announcements


9:00 AM 11:45 AM

Plenary Sessions

Morning plenary speakers will address agricultural challenges, personal experiences, and strategies for improving the lives of millions who daily face food insecurity.


12:15 PM 1:30 PM

Lunch

Lunch is served at the ECHO® Global Farm. (Included in your registration)


1:30 PM 2:30 PM

Afternoon Workshops Session 1


2:30 PM 3:00 PM

Break


3:00 PM 4:00 PM

Afternoon Workshops Session 2


4:15 PM AND 4:45 PM

Bus Departure

Transportation from the ECHO® Global Farm is provided at 4:15 and 4:45. buses depart from the walkway in front of the Bookstore/Nursery.


6:00 PM 8:00 PM

Conference Closing and Celebration

Holiday Inn Ballroom

Join the Event

Students

ECHO has discounts available for students.

Partial Attendance

Can't stay for the whole conference? We may be able to give you a reduced rate.

For scholarships, student discounts, or partial attendance, please email conference@echonet.org to inquire further.

Full Event

$ 400

Lodging not included.

Book Now
  • Morning Plenary Sessions Yes
  • Lunch Yes
  • Afternoon Workshops Yes
  • Evening SessionsYes
  • Conference ResourcesYes
  • Closing CelebrationYes

Spouse Registration

$ 150

Lodging not included.

Join your spouse for the full conference experience!

  • Morning Plenary Sessions Yes
  • Lunch Yes
  • Afternoon Workshops Yes
  • Evening SessionsYes
  • Conference ResourcesYes
  • Closing CelebrationYes

One-Day Pass

$ 150

Lodging not included.

Attend Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday

  • Morning Plenary Sessions Yes
  • Lunch Yes
  • Afternoon Workshops Yes
  • Evening SessionsYes
Email for more information

Transportation & Lodging

Conveniently located near the ECHO Global Farm, the Holiday Inn hosts morning plenary sessions and evening breakout sessions. Lunch and afternoon workshops take place at the ECHO Global Farm. Transportation between the hotel and the farm are provided by ECHO.

Please note that the conference registration fee does not include your hotel stay, and you will need to book your room directly through the hotel. Use group code "ECH" to receive the discounted conference rate. You can book your room by calling the Holiday Inn at 239-561-1550

Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport @ Town Center

9931 Interstate Commerce Drive

Call 239-561-1550 and mention the code "ECH" to get the event rate

Transportation is provided from the Holiday Inn to and from ECHO's Global Farm each day. If you have your own vehicle, you are welcome to drive yourself.

Arrival By Car

The conference hotel is located at the Alico Road exit (128) on I-75.

Directions To The Hotel

Arrival by Plane

The hotel offers complimentary transportation to and from the Fort Myers airport. We highly recommend that you book all travel to Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW).

There are several large international airports within 2-4 hours drive from the conference including Fort Lauderdale(FLL), Miami (MIA), Tampa(TPA), and Orlando(MCO). We do not recommend flying into these airports unless you can arrange your own transportation to Fort Myers, as we are unable to assist with airport transportation to these airports. You may be able to share a ride with another delegate. Click the links above to go to each airport's ride-sharing page.

Important Information for International Travelers
Conference Resources

What does an ECHO International Agriculture Conference look like?
Check out these videos from previous year's morning plenary speakers:

November 14, 2018

15 underutilized crops for improving the lives of smallholder farm families - Josh Jamison

Despite the incredible diversity of useful plants that exist, a small handful of crops feed the majority of the world...

November 13, 2018

Low cost plant parasitic nematode management strategies - Dr. Ben Dube

Simple and yet effective agronomic practices for most vegetable crops that discourage the buildup of plant - parasitic nematodes and other soil borne pathogens in the soil...

November 15, 2017

Post-conflict Agriculture

As development practitioners, researchers, and changemakers we are confronted by situations in which armed conflict has torn apart the physical and social structures of societies. Smallholder farmers are deeply impacted...

Food & Drink

Breakfast

If you are a paying guest at the Holiday Inn, breakfast is included.

Lunch

Lunch is provided each day at the ECHO® Global Farm.

Dinner

Thursday's conference celebration is included in your conference registration Please plan to make your own dinner arrangements on Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

There are many restaurants within a short complementary shuttle ride or walking distance of the conference hotel. Below we have provided some resources if you are looking for a place to eat:

The resources and networking opportunities that make the ECHO International Agriculture Conference unique are available year-round through ECHOcommunity.org

Join Today

Attendee Profile List

Let other attendees know who you are, where you work, and projects and interests. Find and connect with other delegates who may be working in your geographic or interest area.

Community Board

Connect with other delegates through discussion of important topics. Ask and respond to questions, and connect with Conference administrators.

Virtual Meet

Connect one-on-one with a delegate through the Virtual Meet option. Suggest a meeting with someone who you want to get to know more and directly connect through the app.

Utilize the Community Board and Attendee Profile and identify people that you want to follow up with.

For all other devices you can access the event from any web browser.