Friday, January 25, 2013

Top Philippine Farmers feted, recognized at TOFARM Awards

Top Philippine Farmers feted, recognized at TOFARM Awards
Mamerto B. Rarangol of San Mateo, Isabela, a farmer who champions the value of education and the use of the scientific method to maximize farming yields and make every square foot of his land productive was named Farmer of the Year at the TOFARM Awards Night that honors The Outstanding Filipino Farmers of the Year.
TOFARM, a search and awards program launched last July by the Junior Chamber International Philippines (JCIP) and Universal Harvester, Inc. (UHI)aims to refocus attention on the importance and viability of agriculture as an industry and vocation. Twenty-seven notable representatives of the agricultural sector hailed Farmer of the Year by a Board of Judges composed of industry leaders and recognized specialists in the agricultural sector.
The Awards Night was held at the Raffles Makati January 24 and was graced by the presence of Senator Francis Pangilinan, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, Calamba Mayor Joaquin M. Chipeco, Jr. and international farming experts.
Rarangol, who was also named winner in the Farmer category, leads 33 other nominees in various award categories, namely: Agriculture Cooperative, Local Government Unit, Agri-Entrepreneur, Family Farmer, Young Farmer, Farmer, Fisherfolks, Livestock, Agri-Initiatives, Agri-Innovator and Urban/City Farmer.
The other winners are: LABO Progressive Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Labo, Camarines Norte for Agriculture Cooperative; Provincial Government of Pangasinan for Local Government Unit; Mary Mediatrix V. Villanueva of Daraga, Albay for Agri-Entrepreneur; Lilia B. Pelayo and Family of San Pedro, Laguna for Family Farmer; Remigio T. Villamayor Jr. of Calamba, Laguna for Young Farmer; Ferdinand B. Mari of Alicia, Isabela for Fisherfolks; Don Bosco Agro-Mechanical Technology Center of Legaspi City for Agri-Initiative; Bienvenido R. Baligod of San Pedro, Laguna for Agri-Innovator and Rogelio N. Sulad of Mandaue City for Urban/City Farmer.
Felomina H. Javina of Narra, Palawan who introduced integrated farming and pest management using indigenous materials in her community won the People’s Choice Award. NarcisaMikkelson, who together with her husband Keith promotes sustainable organic farming, received a special citation.
The TOFARM winners received plaques and cash incentives for their achievements.
JCIP President Ivan Ruste said JCIP undertook the TOFARM project to remind the youth about their role in active citizenship. “Agriculture, the backbone industry of the Philippines, cannot be sustained unless we involve our youth and refocus interest in this sector. Through TOFARM, we want to show our youth that farming is a noble profession that is also lucrative and worthwhile. At the same time we want to recognize the role that generations of farmers have contributed to Philippine society and our economy. We thank our Organizing Partner, Universal Harvester, Inc. for supporting this project very generously and inspiring our farmers to reach new heights.”
Universal Harvester, Inc. represented by its Executive Vice President Mrs. Milagros Ong-How, said UHI fully supports JCIP in paying tribute to Filipino farmers. “Through the search and awards, TOFARM hopes to make agriculture attractive for the next generation and for the entire country as well. TOFARM will be a continuing program that will help support and inspire the agricultural sector, Mrs. How added.
Rommel Cunanan, TOFARM project chairman, JCIPhilippines, said that besides recognizing the achievements and contributions made by farmers to the Philippine society and the economy, the program also aims to promote farming among younger generations.The Junior Chamber International is a worldwide federation of young leaders and entrepreneurs aged 18-40.


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