ECHO Intern – starting date is May 29, 2024
Applications will close January 5, 2024
The ECHO Internship Program provides training in agriculture and community development for individuals considering a career in missions or international development. This hands-on and academic training program allows interns to learn through participating in ECHO’s ministry. Through online and in-person coursework interns will develop skills in tropical agriculture and community development relevant to smallholder farmers. Interns will be enrolled in a Master’s level program at Dallas International University (DIU) and upon successful completion of the internship will receive a 13-credit graduate-level Certificate in Tropical Agricultural Development. Find out more about Dallas International University at [www.diu.edu].
Upon successful completion of the ECHO Internship Program, a Graduate will be able to:
• Articulate the importance of small-scale farmers' contributions in combating food insecurity within communities.
• Implement and evaluate small-scale agricultural techniques in an intern-managed biogeographical demonstration area.
• Demonstrate cross-cultural training options for adult audiences facing diverse climatic, agricultural, and socioeconomic scenarios.
• Address diverse and complex agricultural challenges through heightened and informed critical inquiry.
ECHO has a Global Farm demonstrating agricultural principles and techniques that are important to smallholder farmers and gardeners in developing countries. The Internship Program provides instruction in tropical agriculture, guiding participants through courses in “Fundamentals of Tropical Agriculture,” “Tropical Crops in Small-Scale Agriculture,” and “Agriculture Systems.” In addition, participants will learn how to apply this knowledge within communities through distance learning courses such as “Cultural Anthropology” taught by Dallas International University Faculty and “Community Development” & “Small-scale Agricultural Experimentation” taught by ECHO professors. The program’s Independent Study requirement is a comprehensive capstone project where the student will demonstrate their understanding and ability to apply agricultural knowledge to a key area of personal interest in the agricultural development field. Overall, learning takes place through academic instruction and hands-on experience.
The ECHO Internship Program is a full-time commitment (40 hours a week) and interns live on campus. Besides intern priorities and course work, ECHO interns assist with missional aspects of ECHO, such as farm maintenance, seed bank operation and nursery production, as well as special ECHO events. Interns are required to live on campus in housing provided by ECHO.
Intern activities include:
• Engaging with in-person and online instruction
• Participating in the planting and caring for underutilized plants, fruits, and multipurpose trees
• Participating in trainings in agriculture and community development
• Training in seed bank management
• Training in nursery management through propagation best practices
• Learning to care for and integrate livestock into agricultural systems
• Managing a demonstration area on the Global Farm called Area of Responsibility (AOR) such as Tropical Highlands, Tropical Lowlands, Urban Garden, Semi-Arid, Rainforest, Peri-Urban, Monsoon and Community Garden.
Interns care for and gain experience with their particular AOR. Each of these areas highlights plants, techniques, and technologies which can be useful under challenging conditions. Interns work together with staff advisors to plan what will be demonstrated in each of these areas. Once the plan is determined, the interns are responsible to establish and maintain their AOR.
The ECHO Internship Program is one year in length. Interns must have a Bachelor’s Degree, US citizenship (or already have a student visa), and be able to fulfill the duties required while enrolled in DIU. Graduate admission requirements to DIU include one of the following:
- Completion of an undergraduate degree at a regionally accredited institution of higher education, with a GPA of 3.30 or higher, OR
- Completion of an undergraduate degree with a GPA of 2.80 or higher, AND satisfactory score on the GRE examination, OR
- A previously completed graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a GPA of at least 3.00, OR
- Completion of a least 15 hours of graduate work from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a GPA of at least 3.5.
If you are unsure whether you meet the requirements for admittance to DIU, please contact ECHO's Internship Manager, David Strong, at [firstname.lastname@example.org].
We do not require applicants to have a degree in a specific major nor to have a previous agricultural or cross-cultural experience. However, the purpose of the internship program is to prepare Christian development workers for agricultural ministry, so we look for candidates who are most likely to pursue this type of career: relevant classes, agricultural skills, international experience, work history, good grades, and heart to serve.
Interns will be expected to actively communicate with ECHO Faculty/Staff via in-person and email and Dallas International University Staff/Faculty via email.
Interns work outside, often in hot weather, with gardens, animals, and appropriate technologies, as well as inside with computers and in the classroom and library. The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an intern encounters while performing the essential functions of this internship. Work involves outdoor activities under varying tropical and sub-tropical conditions as well as indoors with research, writing, and training activities. The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate unless notified that loud equipment is being utilized nearby where PPE can be used.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an intern to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the intern is regularly required to do sustained, moderate physical activity and occasional vigorous physical activity under both high humidity and tropical temperature conditions.
The intern must regularly work outdoors and may, at times, assist with entering data and other tasks that involve writing or work on the computer. While performing the duties of this job, the intern is regularly required to stand (for at least two consecutive hours), walk, use hands, talk, and hear. Fine motor skills such as typing, the use of a computer mouse and telephone handset are required. The intern is frequently required to reach with hands and arms and may use hand tools such as clippers and handsaws. The intern is required to walk, bend, sit, stoop, kneel, and crouch. The intern must occasionally lift and/or move 30-50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.
The Internship Application Form is web-based. Applicants will need internet access to complete and submit the form. Please occasionally save your answers in a separate document because the Paylocity program may “time out.”
We encourage you to browse the ECHO website (www.echonet.org) to learn more about our organization and our resources and to access our Intern Application Form. ECHO, 17391 Durrance Road, North Fort Myers, FL 33917; 239-543-3246.
Please upload a copy of your cover letter and resume, including the following information:
- Work History
- Ministry and Service (mission trips, volunteer work, etc)
For additional questions please contact the ECHO Internship Manager, David Strong, at [email@example.com]