There is a plaque in front of the administration building on the CATIE campus with the words, “Good Farming, Clear Thinking, Right Living”.  The plaque is a dedication to Henry A. Wallace, and the building is named after him.  Wallace was Secretary of Agriculture and Vice-President under FDR.  (He also was the founder of Pioneer Hi-Bred Seeds.)  Wallace was dedicated to agriculture here because he knew that there are many benefits in working together with others in this world.

We visited farmers today who very much appreciate the interaction with Purdue Extension.  It was great to see that the farmers are proudly wearing the “P” pins that were presented to them at yesterday’s workshops. 

These folks work hard in very labor intensive farming operations.  This afternoon George, one of the APOT farmers, explained his dedication to maintain his operation as an organic farm.  He feels that what is best for his farm means thinking long term, and not just what will produce the greatest short term profits.

A farmer to farmer program clearly benefits everyone involved because we can all learn alternative ways of doing things.  George said that he is very much interested in making changes to his record-keeping system based on yesterday’s workshop presentation.  In turn we experienced organic coffee production first-hand at his farm. 

It’s a great take home message from Costa Rica – “Good Farming, Clear Thinking, Right Living”!