How to Milk a Goat and Other Things You Learn as an ECHO Intern...

My name is Audrey Powell, and I grew up surrounded by farms in the countryside of Marion, Ohio.  From a very young age, I was interested in animals and plants and always wished I could live on a farm.  In high school, I began to feel God calling me into overseas ministry.  I wasn’t sure what that would look like, but decided to go to Toccoa Falls College and get a Cross-Cultural degree.  Around that time, the school announced that they would be starting a new minor in sustainable development, and I knew that this was the work for me!  When I heard about ECHO, it was just the opportunity I had been looking for to get some hands-on experience in sustainable agriculture.

Since my arrival here, I have learned so many useful things!  Working in the rainforest area of the farm has taught me so much about plant identification and care.  I have learned to recognize many pests, diseases, and signs of nutrient deficiency in plants.   I have enjoyed working with the goats and learning how they operate.  One of my favorite things that I have learned is how to milk a goat (it makes me feel like a real country girl!).  In seminars, I have been exposed to an amazingly wide variety of lessons, from how to use a sewing machine to how to graft trees.  I have also learned so much from interacting with many other people who have agricultural and international experience.

When I finish with my time at ECHO, I hope to work long-term in Central Asia.  I hope that I will be able to share what I’ve learned about underutilized crops and sustainable agriculture to make a difference in the lives of small-scale farmers.  I am excited to see what else I will learn in my last five months here at ECHO.  I am also so thankful for the wealth of information and contacts I will have available after I leave to help me in my future endeavors.