OUTSTANDING YOUNG FARMER’S DREAMS COME TRUE
Sinait, Ilocos Sur - He was wearing a worn out long sleeve polo, a humble looking young man with a suntanned skin. He looked on with a shy smile on his face but when he speaks about farming, he does so with courage and full of hope, he was a proud young farmer then.
This is Romeo H. Yapit, Jr. of Sinait, Ilocos Sur five years ago when the Department of Agriculture (DA)- Region I, through the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Division (RAFID) visited him at their humble nipa hut farm house in Sinait, Ilocos Sur in 2009 for the documentation of the Gawad Saka Search for Outstanding Young Farmer. He was then Region I’s nominee for the national level search along with other outstanding young farmer hopefuls from other regions of the country.
Like a typical story of a farm family, Romeo is the youngest in a brood of four and his parents are both farmers. Romeo was forced to stop schooling because his father got sick and could no longer tend to their farm.
Still considering himself lucky compared to other farmer’s son who could not go to school due to lack of financial capability, Romeo was on his second year mechanical engineering course when he stopped so he could tend to their farm and help provide for their family’s needs.
As Romeo narrated his story then, he became emotional and teary eyed as he revealed an inner hurt and disappointment he has kept for not being able to pursue his career. He said he wanted so much to finish his studies and not be tied down in the farm doing daily chores as a farmer enduring the scorching heat of the sun. He said that if he had the choice, he would choose to be in a classroom studying than being in the field farming.