ECHO Workshops

Those interested in preparing for short/long-term involvement in agricultural development internationally are encouraged to participate in ECHO's workshops held at various times throughout the year. Course participants will gain an introduction to aspects of poverty and community development and an orientation to ECHO. They will also receive instruction on proven agricultural principles/practices and practical techniques, systems and technologies to meet agricultural and nutritional needs of small-scale, impoverished farmers. All course content is presented from a biblical perspective.

These workshops will especially benefit those who are considering short- or long-term involvement in international agricultural development work. It can also be of benefit to those who have been on the field doing development work for a few years but who would like to take a step back and re-evaluate their approach. Those who could benefit from this course include short-term or career missionaries, international project volunteers (e.g. Peace Corps), leaders of relief-oriented organizations, or missions committee leaders of churches involved in agricultural projects overseas.

Available Discounts:

  • SW Florida resident (no housing provided)
  • Group rate (3+)
  • Previous course attendee

Email for more information on discounts


Arial Tour of ECHO's Global Farm

ECHO's International Headquarters

The hub of ECHO’s ministry is the international headquarters in North Fort Myers, Florida. This campus houses a 50-acre demonstration farm, tropical resource library, 350-variety seed bank, Global Farm & Training Center, tropical fruit nursery and global bookstore.

ECHO Global Farm demonstrates plants and techniques useful to farmers and urban gardeners in developing countries.  ECHO has one of the largest collections of tropical food plants in Florida.  Appropriate technologies demonstrated at ECHO include biogas (turning cow manure into gas for cooking and lighting), improved cookstoves,  solar food dryers, and more.  Tropical sheep, goats, cows, turken chickens, ducks, tilapia fish, and rabbits are integrated into the farm.  Unique gardening techniques allow gardens anywhere—even on rooftops.


Upcoming Workshops


Spring Break

For Aspiring Sustainable Ag Development Workers/Missionaries

Tropical Agriculture Development 101

April 9 - April 13, 2018

Tailored for university students, this course will dive into the agricultural systems that are used on small tropical farms. Learn how to utilize perennial crops to your advantage! This course will give hands on experience to those who are interested in kick starting a small tropical farm system.

This interactive and practical course will span one week, covering:

  • Agroforestry
  • Underutilized Tropical Crops
  • Fruit Tree Management
  • Nursery Management
  • Propagation
  • Conservation Agriculture
  • Foundations for Farming
  • Seed saving
  • Seed banking

Student fee: $323.00

Non-Student early bird fee: $645.00

*Sign up by April 9th to recieve the early bird rate


Tropical Agriculture Development: The Basics

July 23 - 27, 2018

This course covers a broad range of topics relevant to those starting out in agricultural development in a tropical environment. The purpose of this class is to expose you to several different ideas and concepts. Although a significant amount of time will be spent looking at examples on the ECHO Farm, given the breadth of topics covered, extensive hands-on farm work should not be an expectation of taking this course.

This course will especially benefit those who are considering short- or long-term involvement in international agricultural development work. It can also be of benefit to those who have been on the field doing development work for a few years but who would like to take a step back and re-evaluate their approach.

Early Bird fee: $645.00

*Sign by July 1st to recieve this discounted rate

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Introduction to Permaculture

April 30 - May 04, 2018

Permaculture or Permanent Agriculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, and resilience of natural ecosystems. This deliberate design is based on the ethics of caring for others and creation while cultivating a fair share for everyone.

This course will bring a wholistic perspective on agriculture and development centered around a biblical approach on permaculture. Our goal is for you to understand permaculture as an option for interacting with creation in your sphere of influence. This will help to equip the people you are working with to utilize their resources and to design abundance into their farming systems. Classes will be structured with hands-on activities, interactive lectures, and on-farm learning.

While this course does not satisfy the requirements for a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC), it will give you a good foundation for pursuing a PDC in the future.

Early bird fee: $645.00

*Sign up by April 1st to recieve this discounted rate

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Introduction to Tropical and Underutilized Crops

September 10 - 14, 2018

Did you know that of 250,000 identified plant species worldwide that only 30 species provide 95 percent of our global food energy needs? And that only three of these crops – wheat, maize and rice – provide half of the world’s food?

With severe weather extremes and other risks to global food security, many agricultural experts agree that global cropping systems should be as diversified as possible. As small-scale farms are particularly vulnerable to climatic and economic instability, underutilized crops may be key to their resilience.

Underutilized crops are those with “underexploited potential for contributing to food security, nutrition, health, income generation and environmental services.” This course will not only introduce participants to various less known crops but will also spotlight opportunities for their production and utilization.

The workshop will also include practical nutrition activities in which various underutilized crops on the ECHO farm will be harvested and prepared into meals.

Early bird fee: $645.00

*Sign up by August 13th to recieve this discounted rate

Past ECHO Workshops

Other Training Options

Study Program

This program combines access to ECHO's broad range of resources related to tropical agriculture with a chance to do hands-on work on the Global Farm. Though we are not a formal training center, ECHO provides an environment that fosters learning. The Study Program is designed to serve active overseas development practitioners with a chance to learn, study and work at the ECHO Campus. To learn more about the program, please visit: Study Program

Internship Program

Our Internship Program is a 14 month work experience program that helps individuals develop knowledge, skills and experience as they prepare for working with small-scale farmers in developing countries. To learn more please visit: ECHO Internships

Missionary In Residence Program

ECHO wants to equip current missionaries and development workers with their work in agriculture! We offer a flexible-term, on-campus program that pairs hands-on work on the Global Farm with an active environment that fosters learning. For more information, please email