Hello! My name is Dani Hurlbutt, the current Lowlands Intern. I arrived at ECHO in January of 2018 with wide eyes and a hungry spirit to learn all that there is about tropical agriculture, sustainable community development, and effective training strategies. My journey to ECHO began in 2015 after I graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a degree in Plant Pathology. I spent some time overseas in West Africa where God started to knit together my passions for the natural world, sustainable solutions to hunger, youth development, and most importantly, seeing Christ glorified. It was in West Africa that I first heard about ECHO as an incredible space to explore these passions.
And what an incredible space indeed! When I first made it to the farm, I had in my back pocket some Midwest gardening skills, which seemed to fade in the shadows of the mighty jackfruit and mango trees. However, slowly but surely I began to learn not just the plants but also their uses, sustainable agricultural techniques, and the tools and skills to train and teach others these methods. I am learning new things daily but know I still have a long way to go. I am humbled that our God uses us as we come to Him.
I will be finishing up my internship in February 2019, and I am hoping to go to graduate school to study education in order to become the best teacher and trainer I can be. I desire to communicate the information I have learned at ECHO as effectively as possible, empowering others to love God’s world, care for it well, and care for their communities in ways that honor Christ. I am so thankful for the many skills and lessons I have learned while at ECHO, and I pray that I will be a blessing to those I meet in the future.