The 25th ECHO International Agriculture Conference is less than a month away. As we prepare, I have been reflecting on the history of the conference and the reasons we continue to hold this conference year after year.
Dr. Martin Price (co-founder of ECHO), wrote in an ECHO Development Note (EDN) before the first ECHO International Agriculture Conferences that he was hopeful that 30 people would attend the conference. A few months later he reported in EDN that 90 people attended! It was evident that there was a strong desire to network and learn from each other in person when possible. Over the last 25 years, we have seen people attend the conference because it is a place to share, fellowship, and learn from others doing similar work around the world. ECHO is privileged to host missionaries, development workers, students, and researchers that share their amazing work to reduce hunger and improve lives worldwide. Over the years plenary speakers and delegates have introduced topics such as Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), biogas digesters, underutilized crops, lessons learned in community development, and much more!
The International Agriculture Conference provides a forum for agricultural practitioners to share ideas and for us all to learn from each other. This fits ECHO’s mission objectives to listen and learn from others, and share experiences and ideas globally. We have seen this not only at our annual conference in Florida but at other ECHO forums, conferences, and symposiums held by ECHO’s Regional Impact Centers and Teams. We have also seen this with offshoots of the ECHO conference, such as Konferans Agricole, which is now planned and supported by national and international organizations within Haiti.
One of my all-time favorite ECHO International Agriculture Conference presentations was by Wayne Niles. His talk was titled After 10 Years in Haiti Have I Done Any Good?
For those that have attended an ECHO conference, forum, or symposium, what was one of your favorite talks or workshops?