e-Extension Program in the Eyes of a Farmer

Farmer Mike

Mike Pedroso, the farmer.

Recently I assisted the Regional Farm Family Forum (RFFF) in Calbayog City on May 22-23, 2013. Since ATI started conducting RFFF, orientation on e-Extension has always been a part of the affair. This year's orientation, just like in the last three (3) years, was doing well with the usual queries from the audience. However, I was taken aback when a 4-H'er from Biliran province asked, "In your own perception, do you think the e-Extension Program made significant impact in the lives of the farmers?" That was hard. While thinking for an answer, I saw Sir Mike raised his hand to my relief.

I came to know Sir Mike two years ago in a similar affair we conducted in Alangalang, Leyte. He approached me after my lecture on e-Extension, featuring the then newly launched NMRice Mobile. He extended his appreciation for the new service offered by e-Extension and told me that he is an ardent e-learner and in thirst for new information in the net particularly from the e-Learning site. Sir Mike is Miguel Pedroso of Calbayog City, an organic agriculture practitioner and multi-awarded farmer-entrepreneur. He had already earned more than 10 e-learning certificates.

This is what Sir Mike said:

"When you go into farming you must always do everything right the first time, everytime. I've learned this the hard way. When I retired from my previous employment, I decided to go into farming. I knew nothing about farming and committed big mistakes. I tell you that mistakes can cost you a lot. Every mistake will add up to your expenses and the more expenses, the lesser the chance for profit. When I learned about the e-learning, I immediately enrolled in the courses offered and I learned so much and gained knowledge on better ways of farming. My thanks and congratulations go to the people behind the e-Extension program for this noble undertaking that spell the difference between success and failure in farming. You asked whether the e-Extension program made an impact, I challenged you all, especially the young farmers who are here. Go e-learning to enhance your knowledge and skills in farming and experience for yourself the difference it will have on you. For me, the program had a great impact in my life."

That was beautifully said and I was in awe. What more will I say? It was straight from the farmer's heart through the lenses of his eyes. I took pride knowing that what we are doing made and is making a difference in the life of Sir Mike and to many other farmers who, I know would answer the same.

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ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.