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AALP's Blog (104)

AALP Class 17 begins their leadership journey

A group of 18 agricultural professionals began their leadership journey as part of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP) with a three-and-a-half day session in Guelph, Ontario.

The diverse group of leaders-in-training, which includes primary producers as well as those…

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Added by AALP on October 13, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

We're home!

After 7 flights, 2 countries, 5 hotels, 4 different buses and a dozen or more farm visits, we are home again! What an adventure we all shared over the last 12 days. We experienced so much as a class, whether it was learning new leadership skills, to eating crickets, to meeting with fellow Canadians working in Vietnam. We also have a new appreciation for how certain foods are grown – like bananas, coffee, tea, coconuts, rice and pepper (to name a few); foods that many of us enjoy…

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Added by AALP on February 28, 2017 at 11:00am — No Comments

Thai Agri-Tourism

Today we left the big city lights of Bangkok for the countryside. How refreshing to step out of the bus onto Baan Susan Chamchoen Farm and meet the owner Mr Somsak and his wife. With great passion and enthusiasm he toured us through his mixed fruit farm, combining agro tourism with fruit production and 20 value-added products. The King, a great supporter of agriculture, had advised all farmers to diversify. As such, Mr Somsak has a unique intercropping system combining  banana, coconut and…

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Added by AALP on February 26, 2017 at 9:30am — No Comments

Temples and Snakes and Boats...Oh My!

Battling through the chaos and heat of Bangkok, Class 16 spent a full day experiencing some of the interesting sites in the city.

Our first stop of the morning was at the Red Cross Snake Farm, nestled on a 'quieter' side street right in Bangkok. The Snake Farm is a part of the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute and the Thai Red Cross Society. In the early 1900s, one of the King’s daughters died of rabies. At that time, there were facilities around the world that had made…

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Added by AALP on February 25, 2017 at 9:30am — No Comments

Goodbye Vietnam, Hello Bangkok; The Land of Freedom, Buddha, and Heat!

AALP Class 16 had our earliest start so far this trip, heading out of the heart of Hanoi at 6:20 am to the airport to catch our flight to Bangkok, Thailand! Upon arrival, we maneuvered through the chaos of the busy Bangkok airport, reminding us of home and the hustle and bustle of the Toronto airport. We were greeted by our tour guide, North, and headed out on a tour of the city!

North treated us to a bunch of great trivia and facts about the city during our slow slog through…

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Added by AALP on February 24, 2017 at 1:13pm — No Comments

Exploring Thien Canh Son Caves

After a great night’s sleep at sea, we got energized for the day ahead with a group Tai Chi lesson on the top deck of the Victory cruise ship. We enjoyed coffee and tea and a light breakfast while we made our way to Thien Canh Son cave, which means mountain landscape in the heavens.

The cave is located on…

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Added by AALP on February 23, 2017 at 2:35pm — No Comments

A tour through Ha Long Bay

The day started early on the bus on route to Ha Long Bay. In between class discussion on graduation and learning about the skills and attributes of leaders that inspire us, we stopped at a rice paddy and vegetable farm (onions, lettuce, cabbage, Chinese stem mustard, Poi spinach, basil). We were all surprised to learn that the majority of small scale rice farmers are not supporting their families through farming, but have a day to day job, and the rice they produce serves merely to put food…

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Added by AALP on February 22, 2017 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Northern Vietnam - Historic Hanoi

Our first day in Hanoi started early with a tour out of the city and then off to a village to visit a local market and see the gardens where fresh vegetables and fruit are produced for Hanoi. The class excitement  could be felt as the experience was an authentic stop where tourists do not frequent.

After walking through the market looking at fresh meat, vegetables and fruit, we walked along the gardens and took in a breath of agriculture. The gardens were hand tended and well…

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Added by AALP on February 21, 2017 at 11:11am — No Comments

Da Lat offers a wealth of new experiences

On our last day in Da Lat, an early hotel departure involved some classmates taking in the sights and sounds of the open-air market we had lived beside for the last few days, while others followed the health and wellness team with stretches and dancing in the hotel lobby.

Before heading to the airport, we began with a tour of a local supermarket newly built underground. Owned by a Thailand company, this supermarket was very similar to the supermarkets we have in Canada. This…

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Added by AALP on February 20, 2017 at 10:30am — No Comments

Crickets and weasel dung coffee...

What an amazing day we had experiencing the agriculturally rich area of Da Lat.

Our first stop was a family-owned fresh-cut flower farm located just outside of Da Lat. The flowers would be cut early in the morning and would be shipped up to Ho Chi Minh City. The main flowers grown on the farm were roses, lillies, and gerberas.

We then ventured to a cricket farm. They harvest the male crickets when they three months, and leave the females to produce offspring. Crickets…

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Added by AALP on February 19, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

Heading to Da Lat

As with all good travel plans, there must be some last-minute changes and February 18th was one of those days with our flight to Da Lat delayed by a few hours. All the better though, as our ever-thoughtful guide for the Ho Chi Minh City component of our trip, Jessica, had several adventures lined up to make use of the extra time. The people who missed out on the cyclo journey through the city the previous day had the chance to take an hour cyclo ride; others took the chance to hang out,…

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Added by AALP on February 18, 2017 at 9:30am — No Comments

Time to explore rural Vietnam

Today was an exciting day! We headed north out of the bustling, vibrant city of Ho Chi Minh and headed towards the Cu Chi region. We were all looking forward to seeing a more rural part of Vietnam. Our travels today took us to a rubber plantation, a hi-tech research park, a worm and cow farm (we'll explain that connection in a bit) and then finished off our day with a history lesson about the Vietnam war while exploring the Cu Chi tunnels.

Our first stop was a 400 ha rubber…

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Added by AALP on February 17, 2017 at 12:15pm — No Comments

AALP Class 16 celebrates Canada’s Agriculture Day in Vietnam

Our AALP class woke this morning in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 12 hours ahead of our families and friends at home in Ontario and the inaugural Canada's Agriculture Day.

We are celebrating and sharing our passion and…

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Added by AALP on February 16, 2017 at 1:30pm — No Comments

"GOOD MORNING VIETNAM!!!!!"

The AALP class 16 arrived at 12pm local time today February 15th, which is 12 hours ahead of our friends, family, and blog followers in Ontario. The enthusiastic travellers spent 20 hours on the airplane and flew over 14,000 kilometres over Sudbury, the arctic circle, Russia, Japan, Taiwan and finally Vietnam.

Our journey to Asia included a planned layover stop in the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. The Airport had several amenities for all to enjoy, including a yoga lounge, a…

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Added by AALP on February 15, 2017 at 9:00am — No Comments

The trip begins

The members of the Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP) Class 16 began to arrive at Toronto’s Pearson Airport starting around 8 pm on Monday, February 13th. By 10 pm those who hadn’t travelled ahead were catching up with each other – sharing laughs and letting the anticipation for our international adventure to begin.

Looking at the class, it is incredible to think that just over 18 months ago we were all strangers and now we are close friends looking forward to…

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Added by AALP on February 14, 2017 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

AALP Class 16 Plunges into Conflict Resolution at Seminar 7

The seventh seminar stop on the AALP Class 16 leadership journey took place from January 15 to 17th 2017 at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Niagara Falls. Located on the bustling Fallsview Avenue, the hotel overlooked the breathtaking Canadian and American Falls, and provided a great setting for the full seminar agenda.



Julie Westeinde, from Breakthrough Learning Associates in Ottawa, led the group of twenty-six participants through an all-day workshop on conflict resolution that…

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Added by AALP on February 3, 2017 at 9:24am — No Comments

AALP Class 16 delves into political processes with LEAD New York counterparts

Guelph, Ontario, Nov. 3, 2016–AALP Class 16 met up in Toronto on October 23, 2016 with our LEAD New York counterparts for a jam-packed three-and-a-half days together looking at provincial/state political processes, urban society and media.



On Sunday, after becoming acquainted with one another, our stateside friends hosted us for the evening with many of the delights that New York has to…

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Added by AALP on November 3, 2016 at 11:30am — No Comments

Day 13 - The AALP Alumni & Friends Tour 2016 heads home

Day 13 Brasov - Bucharest: The AALP Alumni and Friends Tour group are bound for Bucharest and the airport today for their flight to Toronto. The group left Romania today in the rain. It was a wet walk from the hotel to the bus but the group made it only a little worse for wear. Three hours to the airport and the flight to Frankfurt then on to Toronto. It has been a worthwhile trip for all and one each of them will remember for some time!…

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Added by AALP on October 12, 2016 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Days 11 & 12 - Enjoying the last few days in Romania

DAY 11: Piatra-Neamt – Brasov The first and only stop this morning was at a large farming operation near Piatra-Neamt. The group spent the morning at Ferma Zanesti Grupul de Firme TCE 3 Brazi to better understanding this fully integrated operation producing cereals and other crops on about 6000 ha of land.…

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Added by AALP on October 11, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments

Days 9 &10 Sightseeing - which wouldn't be complete without Dracula

DAY 9 Sighisoara – Targu Mures – Gura Humorului The AALP Alumni and Friends tour group woke up to wet weather this morning. Despite the rain many of the group enjoyed a walking tour of the old citadel, up and down numerous steps, cobblestones and roadways. 

Of note, Vlad Dracul, father of Vlad Dracula (Dracula) lived here in one of the houses, at a young age, from 1431 to 1435.…

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Added by AALP on October 10, 2016 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

Know what Mother Nature’s plans are, sooner

A weather radar station near Radisson, Sask. is being upgraded with state-of-the-art equipment. The station is the first to receive these improvements in Canada.

Délimax-Montpak group announces agreement in principle to acquire assets of Écolait

Délimax-Montpak, an industry leader and North America’s foremost veal and lamb processing company, today announced that it has reached an agreement in principle to acquire the assets of Écolait.

Canada, Mexico Will Entertain 5-Year Review Clause Over NAFTA Termination Clause

Canada and Mexico are prepared to engage the United States on one of its most contentious demands for NAFTA, in an early indication that proposals currently deemed non-starters could, in theory, be redesigned into something all three countries can live with

Canadian Soy health claim not affected by U.S. Announcement

Canada’s health claim for soy protein and cholesterol reduction is not impacted by the recent announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposing to revoke a health claim in the United States linking soy protein consumption to reducing heart disease in humans.

Bill 148 may threaten rural Ontario

Municipalities across the province are concerned about how Bill 148 – or, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act 2017 – could impact their budgets and, ultimately, their taxpayers.

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