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ECHO to host agricultural conference

By Staff | Nov 11, 2015

Agricultural experts from around the world will be coming to Southwest Florida Nov. 17 to 19 as ECHO hosts its 22nd annual ECHO International Agriculture Conference.

Delegates from more than 20 countries will attend morning and evening classes at the Crowne Plaza, with afternoon sessions being held at the ECHO Farm in North Fort Myers.

Danielle Flood, spokesperson, said the conference combines a big brainstorming session with lectures and presentations on how to help keep people fed.

“ECHO specializes in training in sustainable agriculture, so we offer a conference every year where people come to learn to network together, share ideas and return home to implement what they learned from ECHO,” Flood said.

The delegates will attend morning conferences from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza, featuring prominent keynote speakers, who speak about gardening techniques.

After lunch everyone comes out to the farm, which replicates growing conditions worldwide, for tours and hands-on workshops all afternoon with ECHO staff and local and international specialists.

“They learn hands-on techniques and also hear from speakers. There are demonstrations on crop rotation or worm growing and technology. It depends on which workshop or track they’re following,” Flood said.

After leaving the farm at 5 p.m. and dinner, they return to the Crowne Plaza for an evening session from 7 to 9 p.m., making for a long, but rewarding day

Development workers at every stage benefit from the conference. Many presenters have attended previous events as beginning development workers, and now have techniques and experience to share, Flood said.

Those starting out build valuable networks and gain hands-on training that will have lasting impact on their effectiveness and longevity, Flood said.

These conferences bring delegates up to speed on what is new, and changing, in the world of agricultural development.

“People don’t stop learning. They don’t stop networking. They’re always talking and we find giving them the opportunity is more beneficial if they’re here for only that time than not,” Flood said.

While the event is mostly for an international audience, numerous local people who have an interest attend.

ECHO’s mission is to eliminate world hunger and to help those who are teaching farmers around the world know how to be more effective in producing enough to meet the needs of their families and their communities.

For additional information, contact Flood at 239-543-3246.