Tag: Missouri State University

Growing hope: Agricultural research in partnership with Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope is partnering with Missouri State University agriculture master’s student Jordan Gott to research best practices in growing crops common for the participants in Convoy’s Agriculture Initiative.

Gott’s research centers around the timing of planting corn and lablab — a kind of bean native to Africa. Does planting them at the same time cause competition or do they help each other? Is it better to plant them at the same time or weeks apart? This information will help inform Convoy agronomists on the best way to train and educate farmers in our initiative.

From Missouri to Tanzania

The research began in a greenhouse on the MSU campus, but is now being field tested in Tanzania. With the help of Convoy of Hope staff and the ECHO global seed bank, Gott is growing and monitoring her crops in Arusha, Tanzania.

Gott had to consider some cultural and environmental differences when moving her research from Springfield, MO to Tanzania. There are differences in soil types and irrigation practices. She also had to consider cultural practices, as farmers in Tanzania always plant their corn first.

While she is working to help farmers in Tanzania, Gott is also excited to learn from them.

“I’m excited to go to Tanzania — be in the culture, meet the people and see how they do things,” Gott says. “I’m excited to keep on learning new stuff.”

Follow us for updates on Gott’s work in Tanzania.

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Agriculture

Students’ partner with Convoy of Hope in rocket stove competition

Students from Missouri State and Evangel University took to the Evangel courtyard Wednesday, March 21, to take part in a rocket stove competition, in partnership with Convoy of Hope.

The Applied Sustainability class, taught by Evangel Professor and Convoy of Hope Senior Director of Program Effectiveness and Training Jason Streubel, is a course designed to engage students in analyzing and solving the world’s humanitarian needs.

A rocket stove is a fuel and heat efficient stove, that uses combustion and ventilation to produce heat while conserving fuel. Usually found in developing countries, the cost efficient stove produces almost no smoke and is a staple in areas with a low supply of fuel sources.

We have a winner

Students were required to build their rocket stove out of household or repurposed items. The goal was to get the stove to boil a pot of water for 10 minutes at 100 degrees Celsius — the time and temperature required to sanitize contaminated water.

Scott McElveen, a graduate student in Missouri States Agricultural Science program, completed the ten minute boil. His rocket stove, a combination of coffee cans and aluminum foil, held 100 degrees for 14 minutes.

“If you were in a foreign country, you could drink that water,” McElveen said smiling.

How Convoy uses rocket stove technology

Convoy of Hope works in developing countries around the world through Children’s Feeding, Women’s Empowerment and Agriculture initiatives. To improve the lives of people we serve, we are beginning to implement clean stove technology.

“How do you burn a stove while being fuel efficient and heat efficient?” Streubel said. “That’s what we are trying to find out.”

Right now, a manufactured rocket stove would cost someone in Kenya about two days wages. In countries like El Salvador and Nicaragua, rocket stove materials are limited to natural resources like stone, brick, clay and cob.

One Missouri State student, Cady Goble, used cob to build her rocket stove. Her cob mixture — a combination of clay, sand and prairie grass — is a variation of what most people use to build rocket stoves in our program countries. Like many of the people we serve, Goble understands the benefits to using natural resources.

“Anyone can make it using the resources around them,” Goble said. “It’s also scalable, it could be used for someone’s home.”

Along with creativity, cost, and heat efficiency, scalability is one of the benefits Streubel analyzed.

“We want to produce this in a way that is not just good for individuals, but in a way that could provide for whole families—or even schools,” Streubel said.

Streubel is analyzing the successes and failures of the classes’ models and using them to further his team’s knowledge of rocket stoves and how to manufacture them on a larger scale. With this additional information, Convoy of Hope can continue to implement clean stove technology in the lives of the people we serve — offering cleaner, fuel efficient methods of cooking and hope for a better tomorrow.

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Join the Convoy / News
(l to r) Hal Donaldson, co-founder and president of Convoy of Hope and Clif Smart, president of Missouri State University sign a MOU on October 28, 2014. (l to r) Hal Donaldson, co-founder and president of Convoy of Hope and Clif Smart, president of Missouri State University sign a MOU on October 28, 2014.

MSU and Convoy of Hope launch collaboration

Missouri State University (MSU) and Convoy of Hope signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to increase and improve agriculture and water availability in Haiti and possibly other developing countries, through extension services and scientific and academic research.

The MOU is consistent with MSU’s public affairs mission; the three pillars of which are ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement. The agreement is also consistent with Convoy of Hope’s mission to provide help and hope to those who are impoverished, hungry and hurting.

“We’re excited about the opportunity this agreement presents for Missouri State students and faculty to share their skills and apply their knowledge,” said Clif Smart, Missouri State president. “Our partnership with Convoy of Hope in Haiti and other countries is a meaningful way to apply our public affairs mission.”

Under the MOU, MSU and Convoy of Hope will develop, execute and implement extension services, education and research projects pertaining to agriculture and other related projects. These projects will be planned jointly, subject to availability of funding and the specific approval of the presidents of MSU and Convoy of Hope. The university will serve as lead agency, and through its faculty and staff, will contribute expertise and experience in scientific and academic research, grant writing and application, and similar related areas.

“MSU has been a valuable partner for Convoy of Hope for many years,” says Hal Donaldson, president and co-founder of Convoy of Hope. “We look forward to continuing this relationship so that more people can be served in the future.”

The areas of cooperation include agriculture-related outreach and development programs in countries where Convoy of Hope is actively engaged, including Haiti. Other countries may be subsequently agreed to including the Philippines, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, South Africa and the United States.

The agreement also involves student exchanges between MSU and Convoy of Hope projects for the purpose of education, training, community service, international development service and experience. Additional opportunities for further collaboration may be explored over time.

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