Jeff Boshart has resigned as manager of the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Initiative (GFI) effective Dec. 29. He has held the position, which includes managing the GFI fund as well as the Emerging Global Mission Fund, for more than 11 years, since March 2012.
Boshart’s career on the denominational staff and his work in contract positions with denominational programs has been extensive, spanning some 22 years. He and his wife Peggy worked in the Dominican Republic for the Church of the Brethren from 2001 to 2004 as community development coordinators, implementing a microloan program. Previously, from 1998 to 2000, they served in Haiti doing agricultural development with ECHO (Educational Concern for Hunger Organization). From 2008 to 2012, he worked in a contracted position as Haiti Disaster Response coordinator for Brethren Disaster Ministries.
The GFI is the primary way the denomination helps develop food security and works against chronic hunger. Boshart’s work to promote agriculture, offer training in best practices, and visit prospective grant recipients has taken him to many different countries around the world including Central America, Latin America, and the Caribbean, Nigeria and the Great Lakes region of Africa, and Spain, among others.
In Ecuador he has played a part in renewing relationships with people, congregations, and organizations that retain ties to the former Church of the Brethren mission there.
In Nigeria, he has been a key partner for the agricultural staff of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and has been instrumental in a soybean initiative.
In the US, Boshart has led the GFI in giving grants to community gardens, the majority related to Church of the Brethren congregations. The “Going to the Garden” initiative began as a partnership with the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy.
Recently, Boshart also has represented the Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission in some international visits. In April, he traveled to Tijuana to visit with one of the newest emerging Church of the Brethren denominations in process of formation in Mexico. In June, he went to the Dominican Republic as part of an ongoing attempt by Global Mission to encourage reconciliation between Iglesia de los Hermanos Republica Dominicana (culturally Dominican, Spanish-speaking congregations) and Communidad de Fe (predominantly culturally Haitian, Kreyol-speaking congregations). Boshart’s facility with languages including Spanish and Kreyol has been key to such work.
His future plans include a focus on the family farm in Wisconsin, among other projects.
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