SAN AGUSTIN PILI CAMARINES SUR.  The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) Regional Office  Bicol celebrated its 33rd anniversary on January 29,2020 at the ATI compound  this municipality. This year’s celebration focuses on the theme “Tibay kan ATI Bicol # Sarabay pasiring sa maogma asin mauswag na paraoma” which means “ATI’S strength is working  together towards a progressive farming”.  The activity commenced with a simple ceremony attended by some Municipal Mayors, Municipal Agriculturists, selected Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs), officials & representatives of line agencies. stakeholders and members of the academe.

With its fiesta ambience, Elsa Parrot, ATI Bicol Center Director said that “fiesta” means “pasasalamat” for the 33 years of  ATI’s existence which continues to be a partner of the Department of Agriculture in serving and empowering the local farmers to be productive and resilient. “There is so much to celebrate, the knowledge and support to farmers should sprout”, she said sitting next to Bob Haley.  ATI is also  about sharing and being humbled,  she continued.

Meanwhile, Rodel Tornilla, DA-5 Executive Director  said that he hopes that ATI would find its home here since it has transformed from unutilized land to a state-of-the-art  Institute catering  to the needs of the farmers. He lauded the ATI for being a dynamic extension arm of the DA by extending support to famers and broadening their knowledge through the dramatic increase of learning sites.  He challenged the key players to double agricultural  production within  5 years  or  at least 20 % increase per year.

Municipal Mayor Tomas Bongalonta who also graced the occasion, disclosed that the municipality of Pili ranked 6th in terms of economic dynamism. He considers  the municipality as center of agriculture  because the biggest  University for Agriculture, the Department of Agriculture Regional Office, the Bureau of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources provincial office, National Food Authority office (NFA), National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) and the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) Regional Office are all located in his municipality. The activity was capped by  awarding of various  certificates which include : New learning sites in Bicol, Post Training Supports, National Corn Quality Achievers, Artificial Insemination  sa Barangay Project. The ATI Bicol personnel were also recognized as loyalty awardees. The ATI Bicol coffee table book was also launched along with the ATIng UMA Unlimited Mentorship for Agriculture (UMA) program. (B. Nunez)