Farming. What do you think of? Amber waves of grain? OshKosh B’gosh overall-clad children rolling in hay? The pitchfork-in-hand puritanically dressed couple of Grant Wood’s American Gothic? A pastoral way of life? On a recent trip to South Africa, I learned farming had a different look. There, farming looked like 10-foot chain-link fences topped with… Continue reading Farming in S. Africa, A Different Reality
During the last session for the class III fellows, we were exposed to many diverse angribusiness entities on the Eastern Shore. These businesses ranged in size from a father-son farming operation to a massive global industry leader employing over 50,000 employees world wide. The later mentioned business is Smithfield and their high sanitation standards mixed with efficiency… Continue reading Efficiency and beyond….
Port day! During our day at the ports in Norfolk, we had the pleasure of viewing trade in Virginia from two unique viewpoints: first by learning the ins and outs of the Port of Virginia as a whole, and second by walking through Perdue Agribusiness' Deep Water Port and discussing the products that flow through… Continue reading Port Day!
January 12, 2016; or the 11th for America is a day that will live in infamy. Creeping through the Viet Cong hotbed of the Hoi An water coconut mangroves, we were startled by a group of six men rowing basket boats made of weaved bamboo coated in tar and water buffalo dung. As we peered… Continue reading Just a Reminder, We Went to Vietnam
My brain keeps telling me to post recaps of Vietnam, while simultaneously screaming at me to close my eyes and go to bed. Who knew that jet lag created multiple personalities? Mark that one down on the books. The purpose of our trip to Vietnam was to specifically look at culture, history, and of course… Continue reading If Christmas can have 12 days, so can Vietnam
The last time I posted, post-Florida and pre-Vietnam, I spoke about the gift of perspective while traveling. After 24 straight hours of travel time yesterday, the VALOR fellows walked off a plane (some more awake than others) and into a country and culture vastly different than our normal. Today began with a trip to the… Continue reading Lessons from Around the World
...but it will probably seem like it is whilst sitting in an aeroplane. In a little over 2 weeks the VALOR fellows of Class 2 will find themselves together once again, en route to Vietnam for a look at their way of life, and how it is affected by both local and global ag policy… Continue reading 15 Hours is really not that long..
It has been two months now since VALOR had the opportunity to engage farmers and leaders during an agricultural trip to Argentina. The production cycle is in reverse as compared to the United States cropping systems. The crops that we viewed should be harvested as we in the United States plant new ones. While there,… Continue reading Argentina Reflections
Greetings from the farthest point south that this fellow has ever traveled! The Patagonian region of Argentina is home to the the third largest ice field in the world, and Los Glaciares National Park. At roughly 18,000 square kilometers, the ice covers an area larger than the entire state of Connecticut. We visited the Perito… Continue reading Ice Gazing
...but me loves me Olive Oyl more. Many of us love our olive oil too and today the VALOR Fellows visited Bodegas Zuccardi Vineyards and Winery. Along with that amazing experience we were also given a tour of their olive oil production facilities. Familia Zuccardi has approximately 900 acres of olives. We learned that about… Continue reading Me loves me spinach…