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AALP's Blog – February 2017 Archive (15)

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 5:00am — 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 3:30am — 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 3:30am — 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 7:13am — 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 Bai Tu Long Bay and set below a stone cliff. It was…

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Added by AALP on February 23, 2017 at 8:35am — 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 4:00pm — 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 5:11am — 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 4:30am — 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 4:00am — 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 3:30am — 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 6:15am — 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 knowledge of Canadian agriculture today with two other Ag…

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Added by AALP on February 16, 2017 at 7:30am — 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 3:00am — 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 3:00am — 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 3:24am — No Comments

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

Premier Weighs In On Potential Strikes At Both CN And CPKC

Close to 10 thousand workers with CN and CPKC were planning to hit the bricks next Wednesday if the companies didn't deal with their concerns. The number one issue, according to the Teamsters is an adequate amount of rest time between shifts. It's possible, a strike won't happen next Wednesday. That's because the federal labour minster asked the Canada Industrial relations board to study the impact of a strike and whether it could lead to safety concerns. Until the board makes a ruling, a strike can't happen. There's no timeline for the board to issue a decision, it could tomorrow,.it could happen next month. The Teamsters says it will abide by that. This week, Premier Danielle Smith said while she appreciated the federal government intervened by asking for this report, she says the government must ensure there is a lasting solution to this dispute. Andre Harpe with the Grain Growers made it clear, the impact of a strike by both railways at the same time right in the middle of seedin

Ottawa Announces $9.6 Million for ASF Prevention, Preparedness

The federal government on Friday announced a multi-million dollar investment in African Swine Fever prevention and preparedness. The more than $9.6 million in funding will support 29 African Swine Fever Industry Preparedness Program (ASFIPP) projects in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Ottawa said in a release. The money will be earmarked for ASF research, improved biosecurity measures, wild pig management activities, retrofits of existing abattoirs, and regional preparation for the welfare depopulation and disposal of healthy hogs. Funding will also go toward sector analysis, engagement and education tools, and ensuring the domestic hog sector is prepared should a case of ASF be detected. “This initiative, and its proactive approach, underscores our commitment to invest in advanced technologies, rigorous training, and collaborative partnerships to fortify our defenses against African Swine Fever and other potential threats,”

‘Important Share’ of Soy Production from Flood-Impacted Brazilian State to be Lost: USDA FAS

Unprecedented flooding in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul could take a hefty toll on country’s total expected 2023-24 soybean production, says a new report from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Released Thursday, the report – which is based on estimates from the Association of Technical and Rural Extension Enterprises of Rio Grande do Sul (EMATER/RS) - said the afflicted state was poised to harvest a total soybean crop of 22.3 million tonnes, a new record high. But with the harvest only about three-quarters complete by the time the floods hit in late April, that left approximately 5.3 million tonnes of crop still out in the field, representing over 20% of EMATER/RS’s output estimate for Rio Grande do Sul and up to 4% of Brazil’s forecasted national soybean production. Perhaps not all that production potential will be written off, but the report said market analysts agree that an ‘important share’ of the Rio Grande do Sul’s expected soybean output w

Alberta Seeding of Major Crops About One-Third Complete

Despite significant precipitation in parts of the province last week, Alberta producers still had about one-third of major crops in the ground as of Tuesday. The latest weekly crop report on Friday pegged the planting of major crops (spring wheat, oats, barley, canola, and dry peas) at 32.5% complete, up from around 16% the previous week, and ahead of the five- and 10-year averages of 28% and 27%, respectively. Seeding is the most advanced in the South Region at about 50% complete as of Tuesday, although that slightly lags the region’s five-year average of just over 51%. On the other hand, seeding in the Peace Region was nearly 41% done – far ahead of the five-year region average of 17%. The Central region was at 29.5% complete, up from the average of 28%, while the North East and North West were at 22% and 19%, compared to 18% and 17% on average. Across the province, an estimated 45% of the spring wheat crop was seeded, with barley at 33% and oats at 15%. The canola crop was 15%

East Gen Launches Registration For 2024 Atlantic Showcase

With over 30 years of success in Atlantic Canada, the East Gen Showcase is scheduled for the Exhibition Grounds in Bible Hill, for July 2-4, 2024.  Registration is now open, and we are excited to welcome dairy and beef participants for three days of learning, friendships, and showing cattle.

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