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Internship & Apprenticeship Details

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Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO)
17391 Durrance Road
North Fort Myers, FL 33917

Contact: David Balsbaugh

Phone: 239-543-3246

Email: echo@echonet.org, dbalsbaugh@echonet.org

Last Updated: 07-14-2015

General Description:

Internship Starts: every other month
Internship Ends: 6-8 mos later
Number of Interns: 1
App Deadline:
Minimum Length of Stay:


Skills Desired:

Educational Opportunities:



Preferred method Of Contact:

Internship Details: ECHO is a non-profit, Christian organization located on a demonstration farm in North Ft. Myers, Florida. We strive to supply ideas, information, seeds, and training to those working in agriculture and development overseas. The farm demonstrates many plants and techniques useful in tropical areas. It serves as a training tool for interns, as a demonstration farm for missionaries and students, as an educational tool for public tours, and as a production farm for seeds and nursery plants.

ECHO's agricultural internship is a 12-15 month program for those preparing to work with subsistence farmers or urban gardeners in developing countries. Interns serve 12 months in Florida and then an optional 3 months overseas. ECHO selects highly motivated college graduates who have a strong desire to be involved in future mission work overseas. Intern must have a commitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in his/her own life. A college degree in agriculture or the natural sciences is preferred; however, applicants with other degrees are also accepted. Previous farm or gardening experience is also helpful but not required. Many interns come to ECHO right after getting their bachelor's degree. However, interns have come with a variety of experiences including graduate study and work overseas and in the U.S.

Interns have the opportunity to make a major contribution to ECHO's global ministry, to interact with visiting missionaries, to develop a "green thumb," to gain experience in raising small animals, to develop skills in supervising workers, meeting the public, and in operating a small business, to try many experiences and gain focus for future plans. ECHO provides interns with housing, utilities, health insurance and a stipend of $350 a month (before taxes) for the 12 month internship. An additional $100 transportation supplement is paid if the intern provides his/her own car.

Agricultural interns are highly involved in the operation and maintenance of the ECHO's Global Village, arboretum, seedbank, and nursery. The Global Village is divided into six main areas—rain forest clearing, hillside farming, hot, humid lowlands, monsoon, semi-arid, and urban gardening. Each agriculture intern is assigned to manage one of these areas during their time at ECHO. Activities common to all interns include growing many of the important tropical foods, under-exploited plants, fruit and multi-purpose trees, caring for animals, and maintaining the various demonstrations in one area of the Global Village. All interns help harvest and clean seed and process seed orders. Interns also supervise the work of local volunteers and lead educational tours for visiting individuals and groups. Learning for the most part occurs through hands-on experience. More formalized learning occurs in weekly seminars, training directed by staff, and discussion sessions. In addition to tasks that are common to all interns, each intern also has a special assignment in one of two options. The seedbank option oversees operation of ECHO's seedbank, which supplies hard-to-find seeds for trial to our network of 3000 missionaries and development workers. The nursery option focuses on propagation and sale of tropical and subtropical plants within ECHO's unique "Edible Landscape Nursery."

ECHO hires 6-8 agriculture interns a year, and positions begin every other month. Please apply 6-12 months before the position you are applying for begins. Visit the Web site www.echonet.org for more information and the internship application.


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