BSU promotes agri-tourism with Salad Crop and Flower Festival

>> Thursday, March 9, 2017

‘Carrot Man’ graces event 

By Jen Tabangcura

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Benguet State University had its mini flower festival here Feb. 20, at the Balili Experiment Station as one of activities of Centennial Foundation Anniversary as well as its longstanding partnership with the Allied Botanical Corp. (ABC). 
Dubbed “Salad Crop and Flower Festival”, the event featured a short farm tour and a vegetable salad making competition.
This was attended by regional Tourism director Venus Tan, Benguet provincial agriculturist Lolita B. Bentres, ABC executive assistant, Rowena Bienes, Jerick “Carrot Man” Sigmaton and BSU officials and staff. 
“It is really important now to pursue the program of agri-tourism because we feel that there is a need for something more experiential. The paradigm of travel and tourism now has changed, hindi lang po gustong makita ngayon ang mga magagandang tanawin, mga waterfalls, mga bundok, travelers want a more experiential way to travel now and therefore farm tourism is something very experiential…it is also important for me to look for potential farms and certainly BSU has provided an exemplary way to moving forward,” said Tan.
Participants were grouped into three; each group was toured around the area where ABC planted various vegetable and flower breeds for showcasing.
These included sunflowers, marigold, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, spinach, kohlrabi or turnip cabbage being introduced by ABC to the locality, Swiss Chard also being introduced and new varieties of pepper. 
Meanwhile, 11 teams of students from the different colleges and campuses got busy for the salad making competition.
The competition was managed by the College of Home Economics and Technology (CHET) and was judged by Chef Elmer Macalingay of Health 100 and 101, Chef Vonn Ryan Esquivel of 2600 Gastro Pub and Chef Lawrence Luna of Inglay Restaurant.
Winners of the competition: Maria Elena Atos and Fernan A. Bangonan of the BSU Bokod Campus at 1st Place with their salad named “Lemonada Ensalada.” At 2nd Place are Cherry P. Cuyan and Maravila M. Senado of CHET with their “Cordilleran Salad” and at 3rd Place are Megnon Lapo B. Tudlong and Raymond S. Salagat of the College of Agriculture with their “Globalization Dish.”   
BSU and ABC have been partners since 1984. Bienes related how ABC founder, the late Willy Co worked out a partnership with BSU to be able to conduct field trials on crop varieties before distribution.

“Dapat yung mga ini-introduce na varieties should be tested first in the locality kung saan mo itatanim, dapat confident ka when you market a certain product, masasabi mo na ito ay naitanim na sa lugar na to, ito ay magiging adapted sa ganitong kondisyon at higit sa lahat yung farmer na magtatanim, hindi sila madi-disappoint,” said Bienes. She added that this was among the legacies of BSU to ABC. ABC employs a lot of BSU graduates and provides scholarship to BSU students as well.


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