July 12, 2010 – The eighth day of our tour took Class 13 to Chesapeake Bay to learn about the opportunities and challenges in this area. The Chesapeake Bay area is the 2nd largest watershed footprint after the Mississippi.
We started the day touring a cucumber harvesting operation and had a great tour by a young and ambitious farmer named Hannah (who was also a member of the Maryland Lead program). After a ride around the field on the cucumber puller we drove over to tour the grading plant. It was a great stop and thankfully our driver Paul was able to get our bus unstuck (they had 5 inches of rain the day before).
From there we visited the Wye Research Station for an update on the Maryland Lead Program. Then on to the Wye Black Angus farm where we met 40 year Virgin, Forester and Briar.
A visit to a local winery and a large dairy were next on the list. Each stop provided a great look into the opportunities and challenges that are faced in the Maryland Delaware area. Plus we are bringing a taste of Maryland home to our loved ones (which is only 4 days away).
The day wrapped up with a good home cooked dinner with the Iowa Lead group. It was a great day of tours and speakers that provided a better understanding of the local environment. Many similarities were noted throughout the day with the struggles and challenges faced by farmers in both the Chesapeake Bay region and Ontario.
There is a resilience to defend the different agriculture industries with the environmental challenges that are being placed on the shoulders of the agriculture industry.
Tomorrow promises to be another great day – stay tuned!
Neil Hemingway, Nathan Klages, Christa Royce – AALP Class 13