Farming is hard enough without tools and training, which is why the 2016 Cope lecturer is working to make both tools and training available for those in poverty around the world.
Rick Burnette, Director of Agriculture for the Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO), will deliver the Cope Lecture on Science and Technology at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 24 at William Jewell College’s Yates-Gill College Union. The lecture is free and open to the community.
Burnette started his career of providing agricultural resources for the poor while working in the Philippines in the 1980s. With his wife, he would later co-found the Upland Holistic Development Project among communities along the Thailand-Myanmar border. Before his current role, he directed ECHO’s Regional Impact Center in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
ECHO has been working for more than 30 years to provide access to information and resources to improve food production and security for small-scale farmers and gardeners around the world. This effort includes Regional Impact Centers in Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Thailand and a research project in South Africa. Beyond these centers, ECHO provides hosts regional and national agriculture conferences, operates a seed bank and provides consulting and courses for both workers and other agencies.