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Upcoming Classes:

Introduction to Tropical Agriculture, September 12-16

Course Description:

These intermediate classes are geared toward experienced overseas workers with involvement in agricultural development or those who have participated in Introduction to Tropical Agricultural Development. Our five day-long courses are offered at the ECHO farm in North Fort Myers, Florida. Course attendees will participate in an in-depth look at new and different subjects that will be announced after the first of the year. The workshops are a combination of small classroom instruction, hands-on work on the farm, visits with staff, and study in the library. Much of the course content is presented from a biblical perspective.

Who the course is for:

Those who will benefit from this course include long-term or career missionaries, international project volunteers (e.g., Peace Corps), and leaders of relief-oriented organizations. These are intermediate level course, therefore an understanding of plant and soil biology would be helpful.

Please Note: All classes are conducted in ENGLISH ONLY. A strong proficiency in the English language is required.

ECHO does not provide Visa invitation letters for international course attendees. If you are an international applicant, you must fill out an International Registrants Additional Information Form in addition to your registration. Anyone needing a visa in order to attend any of our courses must have their visa in place at least 30 days prior to the start of the class.


Registration Fee: varies depending on length of course.

Payment is required in full at the time of registration. Applications will be cancelled if payment is not receive with registration. For any payment inquiries please email study@echonet.org

Registration fees include:

  • Course information
  • Meals (The evening before the course start through the end of the course)
  • Lodging (the night before the course start through the day after the course end)


Past Course Descriptions:

Appropriate Technology

ECHO’s appropriate technology (AT) philosophy is to “use what you have to make what you need.” Focusing on technologies related to basic human needs of food, water, and shelter- this course will involve making and using water pumps and cook stoves. Participants will engage in hands-on activities such as post-harvest processing, water treatment, and shelter construction.


Underutilized Tropical Plants

Course attendees participate in an in-depth look at various edible underutilized tropical crops. They spend three days dedicated to learning about growing, propagating, and harvesting various crops, including vegetables, starches and grains. Participants research potential underutilized crops for select climatic and/or geographic zones (particularly how to identify and promote such crops). This course examines economic and social factors affecting the production and use of underutilized tropical crops as well as consider case studies.

Gardening in the Tropics

In this advanced TAD course participants engage in innovative practices related to fruit and vegetable production in often challenging tropical conditions. Special attention is paid to soil, fertilizer, water, crops, garden design and pest control. Participants gain extensive hands-on-training in addition to classroom work. Gardening in the Tropics is an opportunity to actively apply agricultural principles that are geared toward tropical conditions.

Small Scale Livestock Development

This 4 day workshop exposes participants to the foundational principles of animal production in a tropical, small-scale farming context.  Special attention is given to the production of ruminants (cattle and goats), pigs, rabbits and poultry.  Discussions and activities include feeding systems, animal health and slaughter techniques.  This course is intended for those seeking a broad introduction to livestock in the context of international development and Christian stewardship.

Agroforestry and Perennial Vegetables


General daily schedule:

There are a minimum of four sessions per day, two morning, two afternoon sessions, and an evening session with breaks for meals and networking provided.

Classes begin at 8:00AM daily and the last afternoon session ends at 5:00PM. Evening sessions begin at 7:00pm and run 90 minutes.

  • 7:00-7:45 AM Breakfast
  • 8:30-10:00 AM Teaching session
  • 10:00-10:30 AM Break/networking time
  • 10:30-12:00 PM Teaching session
  • 12:00-1:30 PM Lunch
  • 1:30-3:00 PM Teaching session
  • 3:00-3:30 PM Break/networking time
  • 3:30-5:00 PM Teaching session
  • 6:00-7:00 PM Dinner
  • 7:00-8:30 PM Evening session

Cancellation Policy - ECHO Classes

Payment for ECHO classes is required at the time of registration. Due to the nature of the class, we require at least 2-weeks notice of cancellation to receive a full refund of your fees. If less than 2-weeks notice is given we will be unable to issue any refunds.

These courses are interest-driven, therefore we reserve the right to cancel an course due to lack of interest. Should a cancellation be necessary, we will do so at least two weeks prior to the first day of class.