One of the many beauties of working on the ECHO Asia Farm is the wide-range of people it seems to attract. We frequently have the opportunity on this farm to rub shoulders with partners from a wide variety of nationalities, backgrounds, and levels of experience in agricultural development. I am repeatedly amazed by the stories and experiences of those that walk through our doors and am reminded that ECHO’s greatest strength lies in the relationships we have with these amazing partners.
Late last year, in an unexpected visit, I met a man named Landon. Hailing from
Texas, he had heard
about ECHO and
wanted to come and
see what we were all
about. I gave him a
tour of the farm, and
we learned more
about each other
along the way.
Little did I know,
but our brief tour
together that day
would lead to a
with ECHO Asia,
stretching out over
the course of the
next few months.
As I later learned,
Landon, a PhD Soil
Scientist, had long been working in the region
putting his agricultural background to good use for
fighting food insecurity and furthering the Great
Being based in Chiang Mai and working for another like-minded organization, an eventual arrangement was made for Landon to join our team on a part-time basis, serving as a Technical Advisor of Soil Science. Just like that, our ECHO Asia team received a highly gifted technical expert. Years of solid experience in Asian agriculture, including the operation of a Soil Testing Laboratory business, allowed Landon to hit the ground running and make an immediate contribution an ECHO Asia’s training and technical initiatives.
Knowing the basics of soil science is a great benefit to those who serve agriculturalists around the world. Missionaries can help farmers troubleshoot their soil challenges. Development workers can guide communities to improve their soil management practices, conserving nutrients for future harvests.
In just a short time on the team, Landon contributed to the planning and establishment of a small soil testing facility on the ECHO Asia Small Farm Resource Center, provided multiple staff development and training seminars related to soil science, drafted the curriculum for a 3-day Soil Fertility Flagship Course, and created multiple online technical video resources for our network.
These resources will continue to serve small-scale
farmers in the region in multiple Asian languages for
years to come!