By Sayvisene Boulom, Laos
My journal started from sheep farm to conference room in Hamilton. On sheep farm, It is really new chance to learn about American life. Sheep farm owner has to prepare hay for his animals for the winter. We went to buy block of hay from our neighbor and then these hays have to steak up and cover well by plastic sheet due to strong wind. These hays are sheep feed for whole winter. This is physical job that is a good exercise for me. Furthermore, local lamb lovers ordered few good fat lambs from Will. I help Will to process lamb and then send to Boucher to cut it. In the evening, we cooked lamb liver which were cooked in American and Lao style. We had fun to experience these foods. Will and I had very good time in the bar and at home watching baseball World Series. Even thought, I did not understand the rule of the game, I got excited. This week, we have few sunshine days, we sit outside the barn drinking beer and selected onion and garlic for planting.
Moreover, Jan Tusick brought me to AERO meeting in Hamilton, this meeting focused on food and energy policy. I feel that farmers and audience play attention on future of small, big and local agriculture in Montana and efficient energy. Many farmers concerned about farm bill, sustainable agriculture, food safety modernization act. There is a common issue in The States and in Laos which is food safety on farm. Many farmers and audiences are familiar with conventional agriculture (using chemical fertilizer, herbicide and insecticide) and organic produces (not allow using chemical). However, good agricultural practice is new food safety concepts for many people. It is voluntary but customers as Wallmart, Tesco, or Garfour or international traders, can farmers for Global Gap. The GAP will focus on microbiological, chemical and physical hazards in water, soil, environment and produces. In Laos, we face now ASEAN GAP which will implement in 2015. I hope our farmer should think about strategy for dealing with this challenge. In the AEERO meeting, I took some pictures which will give you some ideas about wool production and homemade machine which could save energy.