Farmer by Chance

 For Christian Valdez, becoming a farmer was by chance but staying in the farm was his choice. In 2010, Christian became hands-on on their three-hectare farm when his father became an active village leader in the forest region of Angadanan, Isabela. During this time, Christian was not studying, thus he had no choice but to help his parents in farming.
The Valdez family grows banana, corn and rice. After a year in the farm, Christian observed that the farm was not productive because of the meager harvest. He blamed the natural calamities and his lack of knowledge in farming. The first cause of his problem is unavoidable, but the second one has plenty solutions. As an active young farmer, Christian joined the local chapter of the 4H Club.
In 2014, Christian joined his fellow 4H Club members from the different parts of Region 02 in the Adopt-a-Youth Program of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI).
During the four-month training program, Christian was exposed to various farming technologies especially on organic and integrated farming. It was during one of those nights while resting from a day-long farming in Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya when he realized that with proper knowledge, capital and determination, farming is a lucrative endeavor. Then he began to dream what he would do when he goes back to his farm. Now, the dream became a reality. Christian turned their three-hectare unproductive farm into an integrated farm.
Simultaneously, Christian develops his farm and his self to become more productive. He became the 4H Club president in their local chapter and elected president of club’s municipal federation. Also the high school drop-out is now proud to show his high school diploma after graduating in the Alternative Learning School last April 2016. He is now planning to take Bachelor of Science in Agriculture this coming school year at the Isabela State University. He is also optimistic to be accepted on his next application on the Young Filipino Farmers Training Program in Japan.
At present, Christian’s farm was chosen to become one of the Learning Sites for Practical Agriculture of ATI where all the trainings in the forest region were being conducted. The Department of Agriculture- Cagayan Valley Research Center is also assisting Christian through the provision of seedlings such as coffee and fruit trees.
In July 2016, he became a host for the 10 out-of-school youths coming from provinces of region 02 undergoing the same training he had when he unfolded his vision. For a period of one and half month, he was able to impart his knowledge on integrated farming. Most importantly, he is hoping that his fellow young farmers will also develop their dreams.
Truly, Christian was destined to be a farmer, a farmer-leader. Tilling the land was by chance but nurturing it was his choice. From a shy high school drop-out five years ago, he is now a smart, good looking, and confident award-winning young farmer who is ready to sow his success to his fellow farmers.