While I have indulged in an occasional cigar, I have never been a smoker. So, my curiosity in all things tobacco never materialized. Having observed how cigars are hand-rolled, I imagined making cigarettes could not be very difficult. That conjecture was quickly put to rest during our tour of JTI Leaf Services located in Danville,… Continue reading Tobacco is Still Alive!
Is hemp the new tobacco? Listening to William Fannon talks about tobacco cultivation in southwest Virginia is a harsh reminder that nothing lasts forever. His daughter Amy and fellow VALOR IV cohort reminisce that Tobacco used to bring in extra money at Christmas time but for many tobacco growers in southwest Virginia, those days are… Continue reading VALOR Seminar VI – Southwest, Virginia
A long time ago, I was told that any story has three (3) sides: the two opposing sides and the truth. The truth usually falls somewhere in between! Seminar VII to the Northern Neck and Tangier Island shed light on the longstanding debate between environmental protection and economic growth. Our first stop at the Omega… Continue reading Menhaden, Blue Back Crabs, and the Environment
Our national trip started with a long drive down southwest Virginia, across North Carolina, and into South Carolina. Before embarking on this seminar, if someone had told me that South Carolina produces more peaches than the state of Georgia I would have begged to disagree. Then again what do I know about peaches? As it… Continue reading Peaches, Broccoli, Happy Cows, Robots, and a Bus Driver Named Crash
Last fall I taught a class on climate change and urban development which focused on climate change impacts and adaptation in urban settings. Emphasis on urban agriculture was among the various adaptation practices employed to mitigate the impacts of climate change and assure food security. Urban agriculture entails the growing of food in an urban… Continue reading Urban Agriculture – Up Top Acres
As someone who was not terribly knowledgeable about lobbying, our session entitled “Truth in Lobbying” with Andrew Smith coupled with prior engaging discussions with Mike Aulgur and Stephanie Kitchen helped me to better understand the key role lobbyists play. For instance, those attached to the Virginia Farm Bureau play an important role in helping farmers… Continue reading Lobbying 101
Have you ever wondered how Virginia’s agriculture and forestry products make it around the world? How about how Virginia’s imports make it into the state. My wife just answered NO! But I am going to tell you anyway. The Port of Virginia plays a pivotal role in moving our agriculture and forestry products to far-flung… Continue reading Perdue Agribusiness Deepwater Port
Growing up, I always heard that tractors are very easy to drive. Needless to say, I can’t recall ever sitting in the driver’s seat, much less drive a tractor. On a cold wet evening at the Rogers farm that was about to change or, so I thought. Mr. Rogers was gracious enough to introduce us… Continue reading There are tractors and then there are TRACTORS! This is a story about the latter!
If anyone had told me while growing up in Guyana that I would be part of anything agriculture, I would have rolled my eyes and give them a dirty look. Yet two decades later, here I stand, completely immersed in agriculture in studies and work. Being involved in VALOR is something I never expected to be… Continue reading VALOR – Here We Go!