Holly is the Seed Bank Manager at ECHO, in Ft. Myers, Florida. Holly’s passion for working with small scale farmers in developing countries was ignited by her childhood backyard gardening. This interest lead her to purse an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Missions, followed by a one-year internship at ECHO. The internship equipped Holly for the 5 years she later spent in Cambodia teaching agriculture to youth.
Managing the seed collection at ECHO entails growing, harvesting, drying, sorting, germinating, storing, and packaging seeds of underutilized tropical crops, and lastly, distributing these seeds through ECHO’s global network. In addition, Holly teaches interns, visitors and community residents about seed saving.
Holly’s appreciation of the joys and challenges of field work is informed by her work in Southeast Asia.
The seed bank, working at ECHO, and stories of people from around the globe have heighten her understanding of the importance of access to quality seeds and the value of knowing how to save seeds from season to season. Holly enjoys the opportunity to continue to learn about plant breeding and how to improve varieties in the field and still preserve genetic diversity