Season-Long TOT Course on Corn Integrated Crop Management successfully ends

STA. BARBARA, Pangasinan - A total of 24 agricultural extension workers (AEWs) from various local government units (LGUs) in Region I participated in the Season-Long Training of Trainers (SL-TOT) Course on Corn Integrated Crop Management (ICM). The training was conducted by the Agricultural Training Institute–Regional Training Center I (ATI-RTC I) from July 29 to November 21, 2019 at ATI-RTC I, Tebag East, Sta Barbara, Pangasinan.
The four months of intensive training aimed to enhance the knowledge, skills and attitude of the participants through experiential learning approaches that would help them understand the ecology of corn crops and offer technological options for sustainable production.
The training course used different approaches such as lecture discussions from different resource persons, weekly quizzes, small and big group workshop sessions, feed-backing and processing, open forum, micro-teaching, written and ballot box examination.
Furthermore, the 24 participants established 3,000 square meters corn field for their Participatory Technology Development (PTD), where they conducted on-farm trials as their supplemental laboratory and learning field. The same scheme was adopted by the TOT participants who also trained 131 farmers of the Farmer Field School (FFS), which was established in five barangays in Mangaldan, Pangasinan.
On November 21, 2019, the 24 TOT participants and the 131 FFS participants joined together at ATI-RTC I Multi-Purpose Hall, Tebag East, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan for their mass graduation exercises. Dir. Alfredo S. Aton, Director of Agricultural Training Institute graced the event with his presence and delivered his message. “This graduation is not a measurement na nakatapos ka ng TOT at ilagay sa frame ang certificate but at the end of the day, the real measurement is may buhay o pamilya ba akong napagaan ang pamumuhay dahil sa nalalaman ko. We should measure our knowledge on how do we change the lives of our farmers. I hope that these learnings that you have learned in this 4 months course will be transformed into more productive and more meaningful to our farmers,” Dir. Aton said.
One of the highlights of the graduation ceremony was the inspirational message delivered by the Guest of Honor and Speaker, Sec. William D. Dar, represented by Dir. Lorenzo M. Caranguian, National Corn Program Focal Person. “Dir. Aton and I had one thing in common, ako rin ay kumakain ng mais lalo na yung mais na pinagiling na binilad at pinakiskis. Tinuruan din ako ng father ko na mag gatas mismo sa kalabaw namin at yun ang hinahalo namin sa mais kaya kahit 63 na ako hindi ako nagmi-maintenance it’s because of mais,” Dir. Caranguian said as he talked about the benefits of eating corn. Dir. Caranguian also congratulated the 131 farmers and 24 AEWs and challenged them to apply all they have learned in their own farms.
During the graduation day, the three selected participants from TOT shared their impressions from the four-month training. They also took the opportunity to extend their appreciation and gratitude to ATI-RTC I for spearheading the said training. Selected FFS participants also gave their message of thanks to ATI-RTC I.
As the graduation exercises ended, Dr. Melinda F. Mangabat, ATI-RTC I Assistant Center Director, delivered her message to the participants. She continuously inspired and challenged the graduates toward their journey as agricultural extension workers. Dr. Mangabat also expressed her appreciation to all who extended their effort and support to the program.