He gambled to crane his neck, turn it to the right, taking in every detail of his surroundings, exposing his head. His peripheral vision caught a movement from his left. Just as he swung his M16, he felt a sharp jab in his left rib. Before it registered to his brain what happened, he saw blood flowing from a gaping wound. He tried to move but he can’t. Just as his enemy came closer to finish him off, he shouted and woke up. With sweat in his forehead, he grabbed a glass of water and gulped.
If there is one person who can inspire me to get out of my comfort zone and shift careers, it is Mr. Mon Peñalosa of Victorias City, Negros Occidental. I visited his farm recently together with a group of bloggers. As always, Sir Mon doesn’t cease to amaze me. From the first moment that he talked about his farm, he had the group at the palm of his hand. I’m willing to bet (though I’m not a betting person), that after his talk, majority of the group (composed of young urbanites from Metro Manila) are convinced that farming is the key to riches.
I am not a farmer, I did not even grow up in a farming community. But I get to learn some farming techniques when I started to work at the Agricultural Training Institute about 15 years ago (whew, that's surely a lot of learnings and realizations I should have right now).
At first I thought I wouldn't enjoy agriculture, the very reason why I didn't focus my elective courses in college on agriculture, but I took some agricultural economics instead. Little did I know, you wouldn't learn the economics of it if you have no knowledge on farming.
In this world of I, me and mine, it is a gem to find one who cares for others and the environment. In our quest for more we hurt people, abuse the land and neglect our health.
Going back to Negros Occidental on April 17-20 for the message development communication planning-workshop for the advocacy and promotion of organic agriculture was a refreshing realization on the values behind the creation of wealth and health.
Three great days in Bacolod. Taking part in a once-in-a-sweet-while workshop on organic agriculture in beguiling, bountiful Bacolod gave me three good reasons to go gaga over organic.
First reason. It’s health-promoting. Sans synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and genetic reengineering, organically grown foods are more nutritious and safe. It’s been said that people get sick because they have a genetic predisposition to a particular illness, or their lifestyle kind of did it for them. A big part of one’s lifestyle is the way one eats, or does not eat.
This was the question posted by Mr. Ramon Penalosa, owner of a micro-model of an integrated farming system practicing natural farming system in a 0.3 ha. farm in Silay, Bacolod, Negros Occidental (it was already my third time to visit the farm but the man never fails to arouse my interest and enthusiasm to become an “agri-preneur” and become a millionaire someday).
|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.|