Kyla DeHaan, a fourth year environmental studies and international studies major, is cooking up some interesting recipes, but not ones that she will likely serve her housemates. She will share her creations at the ECHO International Agriculture Conference later this month. At the conference, DeHaan will be presenting the results of her senior research project, “Best Practices of Foliar Organic Fertilizer (FOF) using Plant and Manure Fermentation Stews.”
These “stews” are types of fertilizer, made by fermenting manure and plant matter, sprayed directly onto plants. In developing countries where crops are grown in nutrient poor soil, these fertilizers can be a quick and inexpensive way to ensure successful harvests.
At the conference in Fort Myers, Florida later this month, DeHaan will present research she is working on in partnership with World Renew. Her work on the project started last April as part of an independent study with Dr. Edward Berkelaar, a professor of environmental studies. DeHaan is very interested in sustainable agriculture development, and wanted to do something that would have a real impact. “I wanted my independent study to reflect my studies and passion,” she says. “At the same time, I wanted to do research that could be used afterward either by myself or to serve others that really need it.” Her work in agricultural sustainability and creation care was also recognized this past summer when she was awarded the 2015 Calvin B. DeWitt Fellowship by the Au Sable Institute.
An ECHO international employee recommended that DeHaan take part in the conference. “I’m really excited; I’ve always admired ECHO’s work and am excited to be a part of the organization’s community!” she said enthusiastically.
DeHaan is looking forward to connecting with agricultural development experts to get their feedback and advice. Her research will be published by World Renew and used as a Best Practice paper that will (hopefully) be available for the agriculture workers and communities that World Renew works with.
“I hope that my connections and research from this project will help me if I work in sustainable agriculture,” DeHaan reflected.