Since retiring on January 1, 2016 as a public teacher, Ellen Acain Rosario embarked a life of productivity in her hometown in Bacolod, Lanao del Norte. Her 40 years of teaching and empowering young minds are now punctuated with more time spent in her established farm Queensland.
It was a fine Thursday morning when we arrived at the farm of Carlito Cortez in San Fernando, Bukidnon. We were scheduled to interview this young farmer who preferred to work on his farm after securing his college diploma.
On a Monday morning, minutes before eight o’clock, people would rush to the entrance door looking for directions, lining up at the biometrics, or keep last minute errands to prepare for a week-long training. The training management team (TMT) would have arrived at their respective halls at least an hour prior, which was expected of an ATI staff, setting up materials and equipment. Some of the participants would be on their way for billeting, guided by a technical assistant, while others would head on to the breakfast buffet.
Since the onslaught of the pandemic, food prices have continued to rise, reaching its highest point since last year. In the Philippines, food prices have increased across the country while income source of people have declined during the pandemic, making it harder for people to access the food they and their families need. Some of our neighborhood and residents of far-flung areas have heavily relied on the distribution of ayudas and other care package assistance from various government agencies.
Honestly, my gardening skills are rather so-so. I’ve had more than my fair share of dried out seedlings and rotten leaves. Yet, I have never stopped. No, I don’t have a big garden, only “big plans”. For now, what I have are a few potted plants which when arranged rather close enough could actually conjure a pretty lush green picture. My time here at ATI RTC 8 has made me believe that I could actually have a green thumb!
This pandemic, the travel bans mean having more time for the other things we love to do. For me it was catching up with readings and my favorite documentaries or TV series on BBC Earth. I have always been vocal of my love for Joanna Lumley, the late great Anthony Bourdain (rerun heaven), and of course, Simon Reeve. Yeah, it was the easy smile that got me to take notice but it was the content that got me really hooked, promise!
|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.|