TOFARM Awards:2013 Outstanding Farmer Recognized

TOFARM Awards:2013 Outstanding Farmer Recognized

Thanks to the support of JCIP, UHI and LGUs, our local farmers are now being given awards and recognition they long deserve. As we all know food is becoming scarcer since
agricultural lands are being converted left and right into malls, subdivisions, condominiums, cemetery and what have you. It is a fact that unless we shift our priorities to supporting farmers and
glamorizing their role in nation-building, we are going to have a
problem in food supply in the very near future.
 
It is about time that Filipino people start planting vegetables and fruits in their
backyards or even in pots due to the food
crisis that we may face soon. 

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 were
hailed Farmer of the Year by a board of judges composed of industry
leaders and recognized specialists in the agricultural sector.

The Tofarm awards night was held at the Raffles Hotel in Makati last Thursday,  Jan. 24,
2013 with guests of honor Sen. Francis Pangilinan, chairman of
the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, Calamba Mayor Joaquin M.
Chipeco Jr. and international farming experts.

The
Search and Award of “The Outstanding Farmers of the Philippines” is a
program of the Junior Chamber International Philippines (JCIP) and the
Universal Harvester, Incorporated. 
JCI Philippines is the organization
that brought “The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM)” and “The Outstanding
Filipino (TOFIL)”.
This search and
award for farmers is an initiative since the early 70’s by JCIP
(formerly Jaycees) and Planters Product. An Awards Program in
recognition of the Resiliency, Ingenuity, and the Strength of our hard
working Filipino farmers. 
The program is anchored in promoting farming
in the youth sector of all classes. The search will be inclusive and
participative, expanding from public to private sector stakeholders in
agriculture, fisheries and livestock.
This project is open to all
Filipino farmers, fisherfolk, animal raisers, cooperatives, farm
communities, organizations, education/academe, agricultural scientist,
LGUs and public employees, and business entities in both rural and urban
areas/centers.

We would like to congratulate 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.

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, fisher folks, 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 a 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 
  • 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. 
  • Narcisa Mikkelson, 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, JCI Philippines, 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.