Creating Hands-On Learning Opportunities

Creating Hands-On Learning Opportunities

Agriculture is a diverse and dynamic field of study and technology. Modern agriculture pulls together the best elements of scientific and academic study and then combines them in some sort of practical application from which, as producers, we can meet one of our many objectives in production. These objectives include: improved yields, lower cost of production, environmental considerations, and security/stability of achieving potential outcomes. All of these factors are important to modern farmers.

That means that we always have much to learn! Many people involved in primary production have studied extensively and achieved a diploma or a degree reflecting their achievement. Then there are seminars, conventions and grower groups where we can continually update and improver on this flood of information. Modern farmers are constantly learning something and looking for ways to apply that new-found knowledge to their particular operations.

That is the type of environment that we promote here at La Semilla Ministries – we must learn the modern technologies that drive success in production systems, and we must continually investigate how to practically apply them anew each new growing season. For this reason, we at La Semilla invest quite a few of our resources in demonstration plots. These plots are the result of the investigative effort of our professional agronomists. They become small production centers where theory is put into practice so that each member of our agronomy team can fully understand the challenges and advantages of the new technologies that they promote in various communities. Finally, of course, they provide hands-on learning opportunities for the small farmers we work with. 

The farmers we work with have very diverse backgrounds when it comes to agriculture knowledge. There are a few younger farmers who have studied agriculture at a post secondary institution, but the vast majority have learned ag tecniques handed down from generation to generation. The average age of the producers we work with is not unlike the average age of a farmer in Canada – 52 years. We find that for most to be convinced of the effectiveness of new technologies, they need to see the results with their own eyes. Fair enough – I also learn most effectively in this manner! This is the way our agronomists have tuned their ability to share with individual famers and even many university students here have gained practical knowledge.

So we invest heavily in test plots in as many as 3 locations per growing season, and in varying locations so that we reach as many producers as possible with this «see and be convinced by your own eyes» training.  Get on-board everyone! Let’s go see some demonstration plots!