Outstanding Young Farmer Awardee Alex Aborita (5th from left)receiving his award with (l-r)Atty. Mabel Mamba, JCI Alaminos Coramblan Charter president Ruby Pascual, Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla, Dr. Milagros O. How, Universal Harvester, Inc. executive vice president, Alex and Myrna Aborita, Jaro Mayor Rolando Celebre and provincial agriculturist Rogelio Portula.

TACLOBAN CITY-Besting over 100 farmer-nominees nationwide, five agricultural workers gained recognition for their dedication and achievements in the 2014 TOFARM Awards held recently at the Makati Shangrila Hotel. This search and award for Outstanding Farmers of the Philippines is a program of the Junior Chamber International Philippines (JCI Philippines) and Universal Harvester Inc. (UHI) recognizing the resiliency, ingenuity and strength of the hard working Filipino farmers.

Alex Aborita of Brgy.Villaconzoilo, Jaro in Leyte was adjudged as the outstanding young farmer while Dr. Carlos dela Cruz of the Department of Agriculture 8 got the outstanding agri-innovator award. Each received a plaque and P50,000 cash.
Meanwhile, Troy Bumagat of Trophy Farm in Brgy. Montebello, Kananga and Arturo Pasacas were declared silver awardees in the outstanding agri-entrepreneur and farmer categories, respectively. Each likewise was given a plaque and cash reward. A special citation award was also bestowed to the Maasin Rural Improvement Club of Maasin City.

“Our farmers have always been our source of sustenance since time immemorial. More than anything, they should be thanked and acknowledged. Through TOFARM we wish to recognize them for their gifts and contributions to our country and to us, individually,” revealed Dr. Milagros O. How,Universal Harvester, Inc. (UHI) executive vice-president. Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla congratulated the awardees as he affirmed his commitment and support in helping the farmers and developing the farming industry in Leyte. Gracing the event were Senators Grace Poe and Cynthia Villar who jointly emphasized the need to develop the agriculture sector through policies and programs that could make farmers productive and improve the rewards of farming. (CHELO N. MADERAZO, OPA-Leyte)