Agriculture Tech & Research

 
Tim_Motis.jpg
 
 

Dr. Tim Motis

Agriculture Technical and Research Director

Tim Motis grew up in Ethiopia and Liberia, and served as an agriculturalist in Ethiopia for two years before earning his PhD in Horticulture at the University of Florida. He has been on staff with ECHO since 2003. Currently, he oversees ECHO’s Agriculture Technical and Research Division. His team coordinates ECHO research activities, produces informational resources relevant to small-scale farmers, responds to inquiries from ECHO's international network, and maintains a library of resources pertaining to tropical agriculture.

 
 
 
Bob_Hargrave.jpg

Bob Hargrave

Technical Research Coordinator,
Agricultural Consulting Services

Bob has a background of agricultural missions in Kenya, Africa, with expertise in drought resistant crops and famine relief distribution. Bob works with ECHO's Technical Response Unit answering requests from missionaries and development workers overseas. His interests include dry land and tropical agriculture.

 
Gene_Fifer.jpg

Gene Fifer

Agricultural Education and Technical Writer

Gene grew up partly in South Florida and partly in the mountains of East Tennessee. He went to Eastern Mennonite University for a degree in Environmental Science and Cornell University for International Agriculture and Rural Development. Gene’s interest in agricultural development sprang from service trips to Guatemala and Haiti, and during research conducted in Cambodia. He worked with MCC on conservation agriculture in Chad and with the EverGreen Agriculture Partnership developing land restoration projects.

Stacy_Reader.jpg

Stacy Reader

Research & Publication Associate

Stacy is from Pittsburgh and graduated from Boston College in 2013 with a major in Biology and minor in International Studies. During undergraduate studies, she researched Switchgrass as a biofuel and the tri-trophic interactions among Monarch caterpillars, Mycorrhizal Fungi and Milkweed. Stacy was an ECHO intern in 2014. She has traveled to Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana and Burkina Faso for various short-term endeavors and has spent time as an agricultural consultant in Tanzania.

 
Patt_Voorhis.jpg

Patt Voorhis

Librarian

Patt Voorhis visited ECHO on a mission trip shortly after coming to the area and soon became a volunteer. She served as a volunteer in the Development Department for over a year before joining the ECHO staff as Tour Coordinator. Patt became the ECHO Librarian in 2016. Advancement & Public Relations

 

Agriculture Training

 
Brian_Flanagan.jpg
 
 

Brian Flanagan

Director of Ag Training/Intern Manager

Brian grew up in Haiti . He has a background in biology, international agriculture and rural development with degrees from Oklahoma Panhandle State University and Cornell University. Brian was an ECHO intern from 2002-2003 and worked in Haiti for seven years after completing his internship. Brian has been involved in various community development projects throughout Haiti and in multiple other countries.

 
 
 
Renee_Gill.jpg

Renee Gill

Agriculture Training Specialist

Renee holds a B.A. in Community Development from Covenant College with a specialization in International Micro-Finance. Having worked for organizations such as FINCA International and Lionbridge Technologies, Renee earned many years of experience in training and international development.

 
Bianca_Basch.jpg

Bianca Basch

Agriculture Administrative Assistant

Bianca holds a degree in Biology from Messiah College. In 2009, she studied abroad in Thailand, where she was introduced to the ECHO Asia Seedbank and met her husband, Ekachai. After graduating in 2012, Bianca worked with a small non-profit in Thailand and began her Master's degree in Linguistics. She is grateful to God for the opportunity to serve with ECHO. Bianca's interests are sustainable agriculture, social justice, and cultural and linguistic diversity.
Agriculture Training Department

 

Agriculture Operations

 
Tim_Watkins.jpg
 
 

Tim Watkins

Head of Agricultural Operations

Originally from Duluth, Minnesota, Tim was an ECHO intern in 2001. He served as ECHO's Nursery Manager from 2006 to 2010 and is currently overseeing ECHO’s Agriculture Operations Team which includes the Seed Bank, Global Farm, Propagation Nursery, and Appropriate Technology areas. Tim has a Bachelor’s of Science in biology from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN and has completed some horticulture coursework at the University of Minnesota and University of Florida. He has recently earned a Graduate Certificate in Natural Resource Management with an emphasis in Agroforestry from the University of Missouri.

His agriculture development experience includes serving for one year (2002-2003) in the Central African Republic (CAR) managing the Centre d'Agroforesterie, a project promoting fruit trees and tree planting among the Gbaya and Fulani farmers of Western CAR. Throughout his time at ECHO, Tim has had the opportunity to travel to many African countries for ECHO events and some agricultural consulting. Tim’s primary areas of interest include agroforestry, tropical fruits, nursery management and plant propagation.

 
 
 
Andy_Cotarelo.jpg

Andy Cotarelo

Farm Manager

Andy Cotarelo has been with ECHO since 2006 when he was an ECHO Intern. Andy has a BS in Biology. His background includes teaching High School science both domestically and abroad for 6 years. His overseas passion is focused in Senegal and his experience is growing as he manages the many aspects of ECHO's Global Farm.

Missing_Photo.jpg

Lydia Hofland

Propagation Manager

Lydia holds a BA in Community Development from Covenant College. During her undergraduate studies she completed a research internship with Growing Nations in Lesotho, Southern Africa, an organization focused on conservation agriculture techniques. She first joined ECHO as a Rainforest Intern and returns after working on several organic farms.

 
Holly_Sobetski.jpg

Holly Sobetski

Seedbank Manager

Holly grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and a love for gardening grew in her as she worked with her mother in the backyard. She went on to get a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Missions from Lubbock Christian University. She was an ECHO intern (Lowlands/Seed Bank) from 2005 – 2006 and served as the Assistant Seed Bank Manager for a month following her internship. From 2007 – 2012 Holly worked in Cambodia teaching sustainable agriculture and basic nutrition to students, as well as working with CAMA Services to run a moringa business. She joined ECHO as the Seed Bank Manger in 2013 and spends her time managing the storage, regeneration and distribution of seeds, as well as training interns and visitors about seed saving.

Elliott_Toeves.jpg

Elliott Toevs

Appropriate Technology Manager

Elliott was born and raised in Idaho. His passion for agriculture began at an early age as he was actively involved in the family farm and in his parents’ irrigation and implement business. He earned his B.S. in Agriculture Systems Management and M.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Idaho, where he also met his wife Alexa. After interning at ECHO from 2011 to 2012, God called them to the Peruvian Amazon to serve alongside the indigenous church. Elliott rejoined ECHO as Appropriate Technology Manager in February 2017. He enjoys: travelling, outdoor recreation, and spending time with friends and family, especially his wife and children.