Browsing Category: Agriculture

14 pre-med and science students from Evangel University joined Convoy of Hope's Agriculture Initiative in Haiti to help provide education to local Haitian farmers. 14 pre-med and science students from Evangel University joined Convoy of Hope's Agriculture Initiative in Haiti to help provide education to local Haitian farmers.

What does education carry?

When we stepped into the church building in Turpin on a mild morning, 55 men and women were already seated on the narrow wooden benches, ready to learn. This particular Convoy of Hope Agriculture training session was one of four that we conducted in Haiti that week. We had a group of 14 pre-med and science students from Evangel University with us. Each of them had prepared to teach topics, ranging from basic plant nutrition to pest control methods, to new farmers in our ongoing seed program. It was an invaluable opportunity for everyone involved.

BW-AG-4

When I look back on this week, a few things stand out to me that highlighted the significance of this trip, and of education.

I can picture the eagerness in the eyes of the Haitian farmers as they drank in the information that we gave them about how to make their crops grow well, so that they can provide for their families.

BW-AG-1

I can see the kids filling up the doorways on either side of the church building, their curiosity getting the best of them as they passed by.

I also see the initial hesitancy on the faces of the university students as they stepped outside of their comfort zones and became the teachers, and then the way that their enthusiasm blossomed as the trainings progressed. There is a special joy that comes from having the opportunity to teach something meaningful, that you’ve learned, to others.

As a recent college graduate and someone who loves learning, these feelings are all familiar to me. I know, first hand, the worth of a good education. It is something that many people do not have access to all over the world. It is something that people are willing to pay a great price for, whether that is taking out thousands of dollars in loans or making the lengthy journey on foot to get to a place of learning. An education is something that these 14 university students from southwest Missouri now have in common with just over 3,400 farmers in the mountains of Haiti and beyond through our Agricultural Initiatives—and that number keeps growing.

BW-AG-2

Our Agriculture program at Convoy of Hope provides many tangible resources to our farmers in Haiti but what I am most passionate about is that we are able to provide expertise in agriculture that has all but disappeared from the country. I believe that this education is the irreplaceable tool that we can place in their hands to create sustainable change. Although the resources that we can provide eventually reach a limit, education carries immeasurable potential. It is a long-term investment that can carry over from generation to generation, continuing to provide meals and lift people out of poverty for years to come.

Help Convoy of Hope to serve people from one generation to the nextGive Hope

 

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Agriculture / Program Updates
Jason Streubel, Ph.D and director of agriculture for Convoy of Hope, sits on a Kubota tractor preparing the soil behind our World Distribution Center for a Community Garden. Jason Streubel, Ph.D and director of agriculture for Convoy of Hope, sits on a Kubota tractor preparing the soil behind our World Distribution Center for a Community Garden.

Cultivating Hope with Community Gardens

On a cloudy day in a field behind Convoy of Hope’s World Distribution Center in Springfield, Mo., Jason Streubel, Ph.D and director of agriculture for Convoy of Hope, sits on a Kubota tractor grinning from ear-to-ear.

Here, in the heart of the city of more than 160,000 residents, an eight-foot barbed wire fence surrounds land on one side. On the other, a deer darts into a wooded area. The smell of freshly-tilled soil fills the air.

Streubel will use this half-acre in collaboration with local universities to plant fall crops and conduct variety trials. The team will collect soil samples, monitor growth rates and yield, and harvest crops.

“This field allows us to do research,” says Streubel. “As our organization gains academic credibility, it opens up relationships so that we can improve our techniques and feed more children.”

According to Streubel, the study also provides opportunity for grants that can be used to develop agriculture initiatives worldwide. Community gardens like this one have also been launched to aid the working poor in targeted areas, like Detroit. In Haiti, 3,600 farmers have been trained by Streubel’s team in management practices specific to their region.Cultivating Hope 1 Cultivating Hope 3

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Agriculture / Program Updates
Biology professor Jason Streubel examines test plants in preparation for research into growing urban gardens. Biology professor Jason Streubel examines test plants in preparation for research into growing urban gardens.

Students research pop bottle gardening

How many people can you feed with plants grown in a two-liter bottle?

That’s not the kind of question you hear every day — unless you are doing research into urban agriculture, like Dr. Jason Streubel, associate professor of biology at Evangel University.

Streubel also leads the Agriculture Initiative of Convoy of Hope, and it is his work with this Springfield-based organization that has excited biology students at Evangel.

“In addition to our ongoing work in Haiti, we have started working with a group of urban pastors in Detroit,” said Streubel. “We are downsizing the concept of community gardens. We are teaching the pastors to ‘plant what you can, anywhere you can.’”

Since launching their efforts in Haiti, Streubel and his teams have trained 2,300 farmers in best management practices specific to their region and crops. They recently polled 400 farmers who reported a 250 percent increase in yield and an 80 percent increase in income as a result of Convoy’s education and seed program.

“So this year, my Evangel students are working on discovering the yield potential of various containers,” he said. “We know what to expect from traditional gardens. But we want to know what will grow in a common plastic bottle.”

Evangel students studied academic and professional publications last semester, and then established parameters to implement the spring research.

Beans will be planted in four types of containers in Evangel’s greenhouse — a simulated garden, 4-inch pots, one-liter plastic bottles and two-liter plastic bottles.

“This research directly correlates to everything we are doing at Convoy of Hope, from the inner city of Detroit to the fields of Haiti,” Streubel said.

“This is also an academic evaluation. We hope that our findings could be published and presented at The American Society of Agronomy meetings.”

Streubel is pleased that his collaboration gives students a hands-on experience and helps Convoy of Hope expand its work.

“It is my desire to inspire and equip the next generation of faith-based scientists working in organizations like Convoy of Hope and in universities around the world.”

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Agriculture / Program Updates