After almost two days of doing farm tour with some of my Ala Eh’yers farming friends, I finally had a good restful sleep. No I am not complaining, as it is always a joy to be with my farming buddies. Bob when he was overseeing the orchard operations of University of Nevada Reno Cooperative extension have always told me that he has never been met nicer people than those who love to garden or farm. Now, I can truly agree with my husband!
When I started my journey in farming, I was so blessed to have met inspiring and encouraging people in the yahoo group of Rare Fruit Society of the Philippines. Met people who are genuinely interested in sharing what they know and yes, what they have with others. “Pay it forward” was a common norm and it was infectious. Members share seeds, seedlings and cutting with others and expect others to share and pass them along with others as a means of paying back. Fair trade and barter is practice in business transactions. I have met people who are now more than just a farmnetwork and are now personal family friends. For me it was so inspiring to meet young people, like Verman “Berns” Reyes and Michael “TJ” Gonzales, who brings in modern way of thinking that business entrepreneurial skills is important in the business of farming. To meet authority in agriculture, like Dr. Roberto Coronel, who unselfishly shares his educational expertise and researches with the members is always a blessing. It is also a joy to know people, such as Ponchit Ponce-Enrile, Ped Unson, Ric Mactal and many more who calls themselves “non-expert” but has wealth of experiences and hard to match knowledge on farming based on their years of actual work practices.
Then with the advent of internet and Facebook (FB), social networking for those who are in farming activities is now so easy. Some of the existing agri-related yahoo group now has their FB groups as well. New groups are also formed for several reasons. Some start a new group to attract new friends and network who share the same interests and passion. As they become diversified and/or some conflict of interest happen members separate and new groups are formed. New groups are also form to attract network among themselves on certain geographical locations, like my Ala Eh’yers farming friends. Specific farming interests such as selling and marketing agri-products also contributes to the creation of new FB group. Advocacy is another reason, people with similar agri-related advocacy create FB group to discuss and share their advocacy interests and activities. I have met so many of my current farming buddies through FB! Like my RFSP family, they are so effective in inspiring people. Young farmer entrepreneur, like Maila Vilela-Toreja, who work on their family agri-business with lots of determination. Couple Dave and Irene Triffit who patiently work together in making their working farm productive and sustainable.
Joining people who seriously enjoy farming and encouraging others to do the same by networking with one another, is what I call farmnetworking. To me in farmnetworking, one of the most important things you can do is to inspire people to start and/or continue to stay in farming. Modern Filipino farmers are smart; yet always generous and have a giving spirit. When you farmnetwork, the right mindset should be ‘What’s in it for me and what’s in it in me that can be of benefit to others?” If it not is just all about you, you have to have something to offer as well... whether your time, your skills, your knowledge, your expertise, resources, connections, etc. Farmnetworking is about building relationships with people who share the same interest and passion as you do; you can’t do that effectively when people don’t like you or vice-versa. The key to successful farmnetworking is to be genuinely interested in people you farmnetwork with© You will not only find a good networking community but you will meet friends for life too.
Ohh, its past blogging time … time to see my rabbits!