#ATIiIocosregion produces 546 SOA graduates

STA. BARBARA, Pangasinan – The Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center I’s (ATI-RTC I’s) School-on-the Air (SOA) on Free-Range Chicken Production: “Malayang Pagmamanukan, ATIng Pag-usapan”, which began its broadcast over DZRD Sonshine Radio 981 Khz Dagupan on July 23, 2019, finally came to its conclusion. A total of 546 farmers, poultry raisers and agricultural extension workers from 31 cities/municipalities of Pangasinan, with special participation of students from Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University, Rosario, La Union, joined the SOA Graduation Exercises held on November 27, 2019 at the ATI-RTC I Multi-Purpose Hall, Tebag East, Sta.Barbara, Pangasinan.

Pangasinan Governor, Hon. Amado Espino III, was the Guest of Honor and Speaker of the said graduation ceremony, who was represented by OIC-Provincial Agriculturist, Mr. Nestor Batalla. “Nasubukan ko ang mag-alaga ng manok, at nakakagalak na napaparami mo sila. Kaya sayang naman kung ang mga natutunan ng mga graduates sa free range chicken ay hindi nila maa-apply sa sarili nilang manok. Kaya isasangguni ko ito sa ating gobernador na pondohan ang proyektong ito for sustainable development,” Mr. Batalla told the graduates in his message.

DZRD Sonshine Radio Dagupan Station Manager, Mr. Jay Mendoza, also graced the event with his presence and shared inspiring message to the crowd. DZRD Sonshine Radio Dagupan and ATI-RTC I have been partners in amplifying and promoting the Department of Agriculture’s agriculture and fisheries extension (AFE) programs through the ATI-RTC I’s SOA.

One of the highlights of the graduation exercises was the awarding of medals, certificates and plaques to SOA top achievers, top-performing local government units (LGUs), top coordinator-enrollees, and graduates. During the awarding ceremony, ATI-RTC I distributed gift certificates of free-range chicken to all the SOA participants as part of the SOA budget given by the National Livestock Program of the Department of Agriculture. This was an avenue for the graduates to apply their learning from their four-month schooling on the radio, and to start/add on free-range chicken in their poultry farm. Likewise, ATI-RTC I also received funding support from the Provincial Government of Pangasinan to cover incentives of 31 SOA coordinators who exemplified commendable services in extending support to the SOA program.

The Top 3 Achievers of the School on-the-Air on Free-Range Chicken Production were Jamie Naraja of Manaoag (Top 1), Benjie Eserio of Pozorrubio (Top 2), and Marcelino Casio of Asingan (Top 3). The Top 3 Performing LGUs were LGU-Sta. Maria (Top 1), LGU-Balungao (Top 2) and LGU-Binalonan (Top 3). They were selected based on the following criteria: Over-all Performance of Enrollees, Timeliness and Completeness of Submitted Requirements, and SOA Coordinator’s Performance and Active Participation to SOA-related Activities.

ATI-RTC I Assistant Center Director, Dr. Melinda Mangabat, also gave encouraging words to the graduates. "Sharing and imparting our knowledge to other farmers is the best thing that we can do to multiply learning," Dr. Mangabat said. She challenged all the graduates not to bury all those learning, but to share them instead. “Farmers feed us, so we should always remember to thank them and extend our hands to alleviate them as well,” Dr. Mangabat added.

In every memorable moment of one’s life, there is always a song that will embody inferred emotions. As the graduates sang their graduation song, "Tagumpay Nating Lahat" by Lea Salonga, which signified that true victories start with little ones, they stood proud and thrilled for joining the School on-the-Air on Free-Range Chicken Production.