Growing Hope: A Convoy of Hope Update

Convoy of Hope

According to Dr. Jason Streubel, Senior Director of the Center for Agriculture & Food Security for the Convoy of Hope, hope comes from being able to feed yourself, your family, and your community. Hope comes from the security of knowing where your next meal is coming from and the ability to turn your focus to the future instead of the immediate present. Hope comes from agriculture.

The Convoy of Hope is a faith-based, international humanitarian relief organization that operates around the world in impoverished, hungry, and hurting communities. They engage in a multi-step program that begins by addressing immediate concerns of feeding communities, focusing on the children, but then they expand to empower women to create businesses that can support their families and help communities learn and develop agricultural methods to escape the cycle of poverty. Once a community is able to support itself, the Convoy heads out, but their help doesn’t end; they continue to offer advice and connections for those in need.

Convoy of Hope buildingAdvice is the biggest gift the Convoy of Hope wants to continue to grow and pass on. Agricultural techniques and technology continue to advance, but many small farms and communities struggle to take advantage of research possibilities. What works for a massive commercial farm in a fruitful climate probably won’t work the same in a mountainous small village. That is precisely why the Convoy of Hope is developing the Global Center for Agriculture & Food Security in Springfield, Missouri. At this Center, the Convoy plans to take on the risk and struggle of developing improved agricultural strategies for emerging farmers so they can create lessons that can be deployed around the world, sharing best practices to feed hungry and hurting communities everywhere. 

Last year, Dr. Streubel was a guest on LECO’s Measured Science podcast to discuss the continuing partnership between LECO and the Convoy of Hope. Since 2005, LECO has helped support the Convoy by donating money, time, and resources to their cause. For this new Global Center of Agriculture & Food Security, though, LECO has gone a step further and donated two instruments, a CN828 and a TGM800.

LECO chemist Lloyd Allen in a greenhouse

Recently, two of LECO’s chemists, Mason Marsh and Lloyd Allen, were invited to tour the beginnings of the test plots and hoop houses for the center. These plants and soils, their growth, nutrients, health, and yields, will be analyzed on the new LECO instruments housed at Evangel University, just down the road, until the Center’s building is finished.

Teaching has already started in the hoop houses, though, with Dr. Streubel creating and sharing free guides such as a Comprehensive Look at Plant Nutrients. These guides offer articles, eBooks, and videos to break down complex subjects into easily digestible lessons that can start being applied immediately.