Wednesday, February 15, 2023 - 15:19


Destined to be a Farmer-Teacher

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river in you -- a joy,” said Ms. Gwenneth Reyes Brillo, owner of Brillo Integrated Farm in Callao, Alicia, Isabela.

At her young age of 23, Gwenneth found joy as a farmer herself, and in serving her fellow farmers in her community, after she was certified as a Learning Site for Agriculture cooperator by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI).

With her father’s motivation, Gwenneth took Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness and enrolled in Professional Education major in Agriculture Fisheries and Arts in 2018. Passing the Licensure Examination for Teachers in 2019, she dreamed to become a teacher. “However, the teaching job waiting for me in a senior high school changed when God has directed me to his perfect plan - - to be a Gen Z farmer-teacher,” Gwenneth proudly shared.

Gradually, she found joy in farming. She believes that agriculture has it all – food, money, joy and passion. “If all available local resources are maximized and used productively, farming can be a life changer. You can save more and earn more than what a typical farmer thinks,” Gwenneth expressed.

She was overwhelmed with the outpouring blessings from God. After her attendance to the training of trainers on the production of high-quality inbred rice and seeds, and farm mechanization in 2019, she was tapped as part time registrar, facilitator and trainer in different farm schools. It was an opportunity for her to become a catalyst and a motivator to young farmers.



One day, Gwenneth realized the importance of managing her own farm. She applied her two-hectare rice-based integrated farm for certification as a learning site for agriculture under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund in ATI in 2020. Fortunately, it was approved.

ATI provided her financial assistance amounting to P100,000 for the establishment of her one classroom. She was also given technical assistance in improving the farm.

As a learning site, the farm showcases the production and selling of mushroom fruiting bags, pinakbet vegetables, fruit tree seedlings, organic chicken eggs, small ruminants and fish (tilapia) from their aquaculture, aside from palay as the main crop.

The learning site has two training halls for the farmers’ field school and agricultural crop production training. It has a penthouse that can accommodate guests for an overnight stay, an administration building and a mini-library. Its drying pavement is also used for parking and recreational activities when not in use for drying.

All spaces in the area are maximized and planted with different crops showcasing integration and diversification, which the farmers can learn different farming systems. “I want to show to the farmers that there is money in farming. We produce food for the family from breakfast to dinner, and can be an additional source of family income, if only, farmers are diligent and productive,” she stated.

She also practiced different crop management strategies in rice farming through PalayCheck System she learned from the training. She believed that applying the right technology in rice production will reduce cost of production and eventually increased yield.



Gwenneth’s learnings from the trainings and experiences managing a LSA molded her to become a farmer-teacher. She proudly says that she is a product of ATI and she would like to share her knowledge and experiences to her fellow farmers and at the same time, to learn from them.

Being an ATI certified learning site for agriculture facilitated her application for farm school in the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Her first implementation of the farmers’ field school gave her a qualification map of 200 farmer-scholars. It has become her doorway to inspire other farmers and to bring change in their lives by teaching them the right technology in rice farming. “I will make use of my learning site and farm school as an avenue for discoveries and learnings with my fellow farmers, the young and old farmers, typical and modern farmers, men and women, and everyone who are agricultural enthusiasts,” she said.



Through the FFS she implemented for one season, farmers were very eager to learn new techniques and right technology in farming, and excited to apply the learnings in their own field. During field monitoring, she ensures that farmers simultaneously gain outcomes of the application of knowledge and skills especially on the reduction of production cost and increase in yield. “It pays to be passionate and patient in teaching the farmers. The FFS is actually sharing and learning with the farmers considering their tacit knowledge in farming, slowly, you will reap what you want - - the improved practices of the farmers,” Gwenneth said.

She is happy and blessed dealing with, and helping other farmers by simply giving them the chance to learn. Gwenneth mentioned in an interview that her ultimate goal of influencing the millennials to learn and love agriculture just started and wishing for a continuous inspiration to them.

She is also into training farmers on food processing and oyster mushroom production. She believes that one way of attracting the millennials to venture into farming is through recreation and letting them experience the fun part of farming.

Ms. Brillo hopes to inspire another 23-year old farmer like her who will be successful in agri-preneurship someday. “The unending opportunities in agriculture is always there, you just need to look for ways on how to acquire it, and wait patiently for God’s perfect time,” she ended.

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