Agenda 14th issue


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Agenda 14th issue

  1. 1. e-Extension Agenda September 2013 1 Vol. V No.2 September 2013 ►► Page 3 ATI Offers 1st e-Learning Course in Filipino The online course on Effective Human Communication and Human Relation is the first e-Learning course that will be delivered in Filipino. The course will be under the social technology category in the e-Learning site. Q UEZON CITY – Since it was first launched in 2007, e-Learning courses on agriculture and fisheries are offered exclusively in English. After five years and 31 courses offered, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) now offers the first-ever e-Learning course delivered in Filipino with Lika! Usap Tayo, an online course on Effective Human Communication and Human Relation. The e-Learning course, prepared by ATI-Regional Training Center (ATI- RTC) IV-A, discusses the dynamics of effective human communication and human relations. It is composed of three modules, namely: Ang Salita at Pakikipagtalastasan (Language and Communication); Ang Tao: May Kanya-Kanyang Natatanging Katauhan (Uniqueness of Man); and Ang Aking Mundo at ang Iyong Mundo (My World and Your World). The course was launched early September of this year, aims to the help e-Learners know the meaning and nature of language and communication as well as to B AGUIO CITY – The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in its efforts to provide quality and efficient extension services to its clientele is set to beef up its knowledge management (KM) initiatives. ATI’s major KM initiatives include the e-Extension Program for Agriculture and Fisheries, Techno Gabay What’s Inside ATI to Boost Access to Farm Advisory Services ------------------- 2 New e-Learning Team in ATI-RTC IX -------------------------- 3 News at the Regions --------------- 4 Techno Gabay Program Updates ------------------------------ 6 New e-Learning Courses ----------- 7 Stick-to-e-tiveness ----------------- 8 ATI Holds 7th e-Extension Updates; Reviews its KM Initiatives Program, documentation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and knowledge products development and dissemination. To determine the current situation of its KM initiatives, the e-Extension coordinators completed a situational analysis workshop which resulted in differentiate and give importance to the diverse perspective and experiences of man as basis for an effective human communication and relation. Likewise, the course intends to help the e-Learners explain the responsibilities and implications of being human. To enroll in the e-Learning course just log-in to ph/e-Learning. ►► Page 3 ISSN 2345-878X
  2. 2. e-Extension Agenda September 201322 ATI to Boost Access to Farm Advisory Services; Stakeholders’ Consultation Workshop Kicks off in Mindanao Agricultural Planning Officers of Lao PDR Briefed on e-Extension Program NEWS D AVAO CITY – As an alternative delivery channel for farm and business advisory service, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) of the Philippine Department of Agriculture established the Farmers’ Contact Center (FCC) to provide timely and updated information to agriculture and fisheries related queries and concerns. Launched in 2009, data shows that FCC services have not been fully maximized where 70% of the queries received were focused on the e-learning component of the Philippine e-Extension Program. Recognizing the full potential of the facility in reaching more farmers and fishers through a comprehensive communication and advocacy plan, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) conducted a series of consultation- workshop on maximizing the services of FCC that kicked-off in Mindanao last August 12 to 16, 2013. Representative from the DA agencies, media practitioners, non- government organizations and local government units participated in the workshop to draw the experiences of the Q UEZON CITY, Philippines – As part of their training course on farm business planning, 20 delegates from Lao People’s Democratic Republic consisted of provincial and district officers visited the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and were briefed on the Philippine people in the regions in coming up with a communication and advocacy plan for the FCC. Being the delivery channel of the e-Extension Program for Agriculture and Fisheries, the current scenario of the FCC was also shared to the participants where it was explained that most of the queries received by the FCC were mostly related to e-Learning. The highlight of the activity was a workshop that focused on soliciting the participants’ inputs in identifying key messages, strategies and responsible agencies for the promotion of the services of the FCC. Likewise, the workshop has been a venue to generate the participants’ understanding and impressions on the FCC. Antonieta J. Arceo of ATI- Knowledge Products Management Division who facilitated the workshops said that “through these workshops we hope to be able to come up with a comprehensive communication and advocacy plan that will aggressively promote the FCC. And through this plan, we hope to reverse the data where there will be more agriculture-related queries compared to e-learning queries,” Arceo added. Other consultation workshops are scheduled throughout the country which includes key provinces in the Visayas as well as in Northern and Southern Luzon. The consultations in Mindanao were held in Butuan, Cagayan de Oro and Davao (BCNatividad) e-Extension Program. The Lao delegates are visiting the country to observe the agricultural planning and marketing activities of the different organizations in the Philippines. With ATI serving as the lead implementing agency, the e-Extension Program was launched to provide an alternative modality to the traditional extension system for agriculture, fisheries and natural resources sectors. Antonieta J. Arceo of ATI-Knowledge Products Management Division served as the resource person where she discussed the different components of the program such as e-Learning and the Farmers’ Contact Center (FCC). Furthermore, she explained that ATI has ventured into e-Extension “to maximize the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) with the use of the internet and mobile phones. In addition, the program has been designed to enhance and not replace the face-to-face training and delivery of extension services in the field.” Part of the visit also included a tour to the Learning and Discovery (LeAD) Center, a facility of the Institute on extension and education. The briefing was conducted last July 8, 2013 at the Agricultural and Fisheries Knowledge Center (AFKC), ATI Central Office, Diliman, Quezon City. (BCNatividad)
  3. 3. e-Extension Agenda September 2013 3 3 SNAPSHOTS ATI Holds 7th e-Extension Updates..... From page 1 New e-Learning Team formed in ATI-Regional Training Center IX P AGADIAN CITY -- The Agricultural Training Institute - Regional Training Center IX (ATI-RTC IX) created its new e-learning team for the promotion and administration of the e-learning component of the Department of Agriculture’s e-Extension Program for Agriculture and Fisheries. The team was briefed on their roles and responsibilities on e-learning prior to the conduct of the Seminar on Demystifying e-Learning for Region 9 held last August 1, 2013 in this City. Likewise, they were briefed on the content identifying possible problems that hamper the delivery of ATI’s KM initiatives as well as its possible solutions and strategies. In addition, a lecture on new ICT-based services that is suited and applicable for ATI’s KM initiatives was presented by Rey Alo, ATI’s e-Learning Process Advisor. Likewise, a discussion and situation analysis workshop for the Farmers’ Contact Center (FCC) was conducted. As part of the e-Extension Program, the FCC and its services were not maximized. Hence, the ATI will develop a comprehensive communication and advocacy plan to be able to maximize the FCC services and benefit more farmers and extension workers. ATI Director Asterio Saliot shared some of the upcoming activities of ATI that are related to the e-Extension Program as well as developments that will focus on the program. Saliot also confirmed that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) plans to provide support to ATI to initiate extension programs for the Asia Pacific Region including e-Extension. Coinciding with the activity was the conduct of focused group discussions (FGD) for the e-Learning component of the e-Extension Program among the Coordinators. The FGD is part of the result evaluation on e-Learning being conducted by a research team from University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) . The 7th e-Extension Updates was conducted last June 17 to 21, 2013 at Igorot Lodge, Camp John Hay, Baguio City.(BNatividad) NEWS P AGADIAN CITY - The Agricultural Training Institute - Regional Training Center IX (ATI-RTC IX) is proud to present their e-learner who has taken seven courses since he registered at the e-learning site. Ryl Jorge Ramos, one of the administrative staff of ATI-RTC IX, has taken courses on Managing Common Diseases in Banana; Vermicomposting: Turning Trash to Cash; Organic Fertilizer for Sustainable Agriculture; Walang Aray sa AI: Artificial Insemination in Pigs; Integrated Pest Management for Banana; Production of High Value Crops in Greenhouse; and From Seed to Seed: Online Course on Corn Production. Ramos got some of his e-learning certificates during the Seminar on Demystifying e-Learning for Region IX held last August 1, 2013 in this City. (PMGMappala) The Agricultural Training Institute welcomes our new agent at the Farmers’ Contact Center - Adelfa Mae B. Guico. Mae is a licensed agriculturist with specialization in animal science. A graduate of University of the Philippines Los Banos, Mae recently worked for the Philippine Swine Industry Research and Development Foundation, Inc. where she was involved in swine performance monitoring project. Mae’s related coursework include animal production (swine, poultry and dairy), animal nutrition, meat processing, slaughter and meat evaluation, animal breeding and genetics, anatomy and physiology of animals, livestock sanitation and disease control, as well as computer application in feed formulation. (PMGMappala) build-up for the ATI-RTC IX’s official website. (PMGMappala) Photo shows the team (from left) Ronie Baguinat, Mylene Corpuz, Diorevee Salvanera, ATI RTC IX Center Director Dennis Prosianos, ATI’s e-learning process advisor Jose Rey Y. Alo, ATI Director Asterio P. Saliot, Pamela G. Mappala of ATI- Knowledge Products Management Division, Virgie Cabrera, Arsenio P. Raval and Ryl Jorge Ramos.
  4. 4. e-Extension Agenda September 201344 AT THE REGIONS SOA on Palayamanan Launched in Lallo, Cagayan Capability enhancement for FITS centers in Pangasinan LALLO, Cagayan - The local government Unit of Lallo, Cagayan recently launched the School-on-the-Air (SOA) on Palayaman through its DWRL community Radio Station. The SOA aims to equip and update target enrollees like farmers, agriculture students and other listeners with knowledge on palayamanan and sustain improvements in productivity, profitability, environment safety and sustainability. It will be aired twice a week every Thursday and Friday at 12:00 to 1:00 in the afternoon until November 2013. It will cover the municipalities of Lallo, Camalaniugan, Aparri and Allacapan. A total of 500 rice farmers and other interested enrollees are targeted to enroll in the program. The program is implemented in partnership with the Cagayan State University Lallo Campus, DWRL and participating LGUs. (CMAlaska, ATI- RTC II) L INGAYEN, Pangasinan - In line with the 34th Pangasinan State University founding anniversary celebration, the Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center I conducted the Training on Extensionist Capability Enhancement for the Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center in this province. The training was held at the Capitol Plaza Resort Hotel, Lingayen, Pangasinan last July 15-17, 2013 with an educational tour at Batangas State University and Cavite State University. With the theme, “Capacitating Extension Professionals within the Evolving Entrepreneurial Climate Development,” the training was participated in by 12 local government units in Pangasinan with active FITS Centers from Alcala, Asingan, Basista, Bautista, Binalona, Malasiqui, Manaoag, Mangaldan, Rosales, Sto. Tomas, Mangaldan, Mapandan, Rosales and Umingan. Part of the activity was a contest on the best Extension Poster Design implemented by the LGU (FITS Centers) & PSU (campus) categories. e-Extension Coordinator Maricel D. Dacapias was one of the evaluators, judged the entries according to the content, organization, mechanics and over-all impact of the posters. Top three winners on best extension poster design LGU category were Alcala (95%), Manaoag (92.6%) and Asingan (92%) while PSU category were Sta. Maria (94.6%), Urdaneta (94.2%) and San Carlos City (92.6%). (MDDacapias, ATI-RTC I) T he graduates of the School- on-the Air (SOA) on Organic Agriculture dominated the graduation ceremonies held at Kauswagan gymnasium, Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte on August 27, 2013. Other graduates came from the neighboring municipality of Bacolod and Iligan City. The SOA aired at 95.9 Edge FM based in Iligan City started on April 16, 2013. Its last airing was on August 22, 2013. During the graduation ceremony, Dr. Quirog of ATI challenged the participants to apply their learning in their own farms. He said that ATI is fully committed in helping Kauswagan become the organic capital of Region 10. In fact, the development of organic Upland Local Farmer Technicians Briefed on e-Extension Program SOA on Organic Agri Yields 400 graduates in Region 10 upland rice in Kauswagan is one of the programs where ATI is closely collaborating. For his part, Mayor Arnado thanked the participants and ATI for this program. He vowed that the Local Government of Kauswagan will always work to increase productivity and income of the farmers to attain lasting peace. Kauswagan is aiming to be the first municipality in the Region to become organic. Presently, areas planted to vegetables and upland rice are slowly going organic. Mayor Rommel Arnado has been pushing for the municipality to produce organic products and has vowed to work for its marketing. (NBGMacario, ATI-RTC X) L AGUNA – The Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center IV-A conducted a briefing on the Philippine e-Extension Program among the farmer participants of the Luzon B Cluster Zonal training on Upland Rice Production. e-Extension Coordinator Rolando V. Maningas of ATI-RTC IVA guided the farmers on the use of Nutrient Manager for Rice (NMRice) applications and promoted the Farmers’ Contact Center as an alternative helpdesk of the Department of Agriculture. The farmers expressed their gratitude and welcomed these services and committed to promote them with their fellow farmers in their respective municipality. The farmers came from upland communities in CaLaBaRzon, MiMaroPa and Bicol Region. The briefing took place during the preliminary activities of the Local Farmer Technician (LFT) training last on August 4 to 11, 2013 at the Arisabel Clubhouse, Los Banos, Laguna. (RVManingas,ATI-RTC IVA)
  5. 5. e-Extension Agenda September 2013 5 Blog Roll W hen the Consultation Workshop on Maximizing the Services of the Farmers’ Contact Center through the Development of a Communication and Advocacy Plan was finalized during the ATI Mid-Year Assessment and Planning Workshop at The Oriental Hotel in Palo, Leyte; each of the e-Extension Coordinators across the ATI Network referred to their individual schedule (plotted either on their mobile phone, tab, or journal) to make sure this activity will not overlap with the targets in the center. With our vivacious personalities as usual, we were able to finalize the dates in our respective regions. Take note! We didn’t come up with dates only but we were able to go beyond the details of the activity so that Ms. Niet Arceo, Officer- in-Charge of the Knowledge Products Management Division (who will be the most-sought personality) in this event can manage her schedule. Yes! You read it correctly, Ms. Niet will be hopping from one place to the other with all her might; she will be making most of her time whichever mode of transportation that will bring her to the venue, from plane to boat to bus. For sure she had both the good and not-so-good stories in her adventures. But in the name of service, she will do even if she will be traversing the not-so-friendly waves from Cebu to Bohol and the six-hour bus ride from Butuan to Cagayan de Oro City and some of her undisclosed experiences from other regions just to implement the one-day consultation workshop. To provide you with the detailed itinerary: the activity kicked off at In the Name of Service e-Extension Program in the eyes of a farmer What our e-Learners say R ecently I assisted the Regional Farm Family Forum (RFFF) in Calbayog City on May 22 to 23, 2013. Since ATI started conducting RFFF, orientation on e-Extension has always been a part of the affair. This year’s orientation, just like in the last three (3) years, was doing well with the usual queries from the audience. However, I was taken aback when a 4-H’er from Biliran province asked, “In your own perception, do you think the e-Extension Program made significant impact in the lives of the farmers?” That was hard. While thinking for an answer, I saw Sir Mike raised his hand to my relief. I came to know Sir Mike two years ago in a similar affair we conducted in Alangalang, Leyte. He approached me after my lecture on e-Extension, featuring the then newly launched NMRice Mobile. He extended his appreciation for the new service offered by e-Extension and told me that he is an ardent e-learner and in thirst for new information in the net particularly from the e-Learning site. Sir Mike is Miguel Pedroso of Calbayog City, an organic agriculture practitioner and multi-awarded farmer- entrepreneur. He had already earned more than 10 e-learning certificates. This is what Sir Mike said: “When you go into farming you must always do everything right the first time, everytime. I’ve learned this the hard way. When I retired from my previous employment, I decided to go into farming. I knew nothing about farming and committed big mistakes. I tell you that mistakes can cost you a lot. Every mistake will add up to your expenses and the more expenses, the lesser the chance for profit. When I learned about the e-learning, I immediately enrolled in the courses offered and I learned so much and gained knowledge on better ways of farming. My thanks and congratulations go to the people behind the e-Extension program for this noble undertaking that spell the difference between success and failure in farming. You asked whether the e-Extension program made an impact, I challenged you all, especially the young farmers who are here. Go e-learning to enhance your knowledge and skills in farming and experience for yourself the difference it will have on you. For me, the program had a great impact in my life.” That was beautifully said and I was in awe. What more will I say? It was straight from the farmer’s heart through the lenses of his eyes. I took pride knowing that what we are doing made and is making a difference in the life of Sir Mike and to many other farmers who, I know would answer the same.(DBRBaltazar, ATI-RTC VIII) Butuan City last August 12 then to Cagayan de Oro on the 14th; 16th Davao City; 19th Tacloban; 20th Iloilo; 22nd Bohol; 27th Benguet; 28th at Region 1; 30th at Region 2 then September 2 at Mindoro; 3rd at Laguna and it wind up at Legazpi City on the 9th. Whoa! What a sked. From the Mindanao leg down to the Visayas and Luzon respectively, one could imagine how exciting these travels are. Beyond all of these, Ms. Niet and her team from Central Office will testify how the regions had put all their efforts in order to make the activity successful through consultative and collaborative in nature with the main objective which is to come up with a comprehensive communication and advocacy plan so that more of our farmers and other stakeholders in the agriculture and fisheries sector will be aware of the FCC. Thus, with everybody’s effort from the Central Office to the Regional Centers and its stakeholders – these words will define it all: in the name of service!(MPSoliva, ATI-RTC VII) 5
  6. 6. e-Extension Agenda September 20136 L EYTE - Twenty-four Farmers Information and Technology Service (FITS) Centers Information Service Specialist (ISS) participated in the first of the three batches of training on Desktop Publishing on September 10 to 13, 2013 at ATI-RTC 8, VSU, Baybay City, Leyte. The training aimed to equip the ISS with the knowledge and skills necessary in coming up with information, education and communication (IEC) materials in print format. Specifically they were taught on the basics of desktop publishing, page layout and image editing using MS Publisher and Xara Designer Pro softwares. The ISS were expected to enhance the content build-up of the FITS centers through the development of localized IEC materials. These materials include agriculture, fishery and natural resources technology information in various multi-media formats. The participants came up with a montage design and/or either a draft leaflet or brochure as their outputs that were evaluated by ATI-RTC 8 Knowledge Product Development Unit staff. Brenda B. Almeroda of FITS DA- RIARC was awarded best in output for leaflet/brochure and Marites C. Niepez of OPA Biliran for the montage. The evaluators also awarded Evaresto D. Carigara of Macrohon FITS center for pushing himself in applying other principles taught in image designing, which were not done by the rest of the participants. e-Extension Coordinator Dennis Boyd R Baltazar and Information Assistant Gian Carlo M Borines served as the resource persons for the activity.(HGTTaganas, ATI-RTC VIII) D INAGAT ISLANDS - The Agricultural Training Institute – Caraga launches two Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) centers of the Local Government Units (LGU) of San Jose and Provincial Government of Dinagat Islands last July 30 to 31, 2013. The activity was attended by Farmers Association President, Rural Improvement Club (RIC) Officers, barangay officials, municipal and provincial officials and heads of offices. Fil Victor Babanto, e-Extension Coordinator of ATI-Caraga presented the overview of the Techno- Gabay Program and reviewed the responsibilities of the LGU, Partner Member Agency PMA) which is the SNCAT-Dinagat Campus and that of the ATI. One of the highlights of Two FITS Centers launched in Dinagat Islands FITS ISS explore Xara, design IECs the activity was the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between ATI and the Municipal and Provincial Government. ATI also awarded the catalytic fund amounting to Php 100,000 for each FITS center to pay for their information, education and communication (IEC) production/ distribution, documentation of success story, internet connectivity and monitoring activities. The LGU officials signified their willingness to support the Techno- Gabay Program and all other activities for the development of agriculture and fishery sector in the province. There are still two FITS Centers programmed for launching late this year while monitoring and strengthening activities are lined-up for the 16 existing FITS centers region-wide. (MGBSalve, ATI-RTC Caraga) Techno Gabay Updates TANZA, CAVITE - The 5th FITS Center in the province of Cavite and the 11th FITS Center that was recently launched after the institutionalization of Techno Gabay Program in the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in 2012, the FITS Tanza was formally launched last September 17, 2013 at the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist of Tanza with Mayor Marcus Ashley Arayata and MA Margarita Soberano. PMA CVSU TGP Team Leader Lorna Matel, Cavite PA Lolita Perena and guests from the other municipalities attended the event. The FITS Center is a one-stop shop for famers and fisherfolks for fast access on information and technologies in farming and fishing. (RVManingas, ATI-RTV IVA) FITS Center Launched in Tanza, Cavite
  7. 7. e-Extension Agenda September 2013 7 Treasure in Threads: Piña Fiber Processing Want to earn an extra income of as much as P4,650 per month? Be a part of the growing pineapple fiber industry! The e-Learning course Treasure in Threads: Piña Fiber Processing is your gateway to the industry. Pineapple1 is a guide to the ins and outs of the pineapple fiber production. It’s comprised of modules on Piña Fiber and its Market Potential; Fiber Processing; and Economics of Piña Fiber Processing. It specifically tackles the different types of piña fiber and their markets; appropriate pineapple varieties for fiber production; appropriate techniques in harvesting pineapple leaves for fiber extraction; step by step process in hand scraping piña fiber; and calculate ROI in piña fiber processing, among others. Start hand scraping fiber, enrol now in Pineapple1! This online course is brought to us by ATI RTC-VI. Try our new Online Course Enroll for free at Farm Business School Scholars Oriented on the e-Extension Program DILIMAN, Quezon City – Some scholars of the Meralco Foundation Institute-Farm Business Institute (MFI-FBI) who are taking agriculture entrepreneurship course visited the Agriculture and Fisheries Knowledge Center at the Agricultural Training Institute to be oriented on the e-Extension Program for Agriculture and Fisheries, specifically on its e-Learning component last July 5, 2013. The students were required to enroll and complete e-Learning certificate courses as part of their course curriculum. To do so, the 60 scholars were acquainted on the e-Learning site’s features as well as registration and enrolment procedures. Some e-Learning policies were also discussed with them such as the passing score, accessing modules, taking one course at a time, among others. This activity is part of ATI’s ladderized agribusiness entrepreneurship training program – an agriculture training and education program which is intended to train high school graduates into becoming agricultural entrepreneurs. It is in partnership with the Foundation for People Development (FDP) and MFI Foundation, Inc. (YCAPauig) NEWS
  8. 8. e-Extension Agenda September 20138 8 Editors Antonieta J. Arceo Pamela MG Mappala Writers Benedict C. Natividad (ATI-CO) Yovina-Claire A. Pauig (ATI-CO) Maricel Dacapias, ATI-RTC I Claris M. Alaska, ATI RTC 2 Rolando V. Maningas, ATI-RTC 4A Merrian Piquero Soliva, ATI-RTC 7 Dennis Boyd R. Baltazar, ATI-RTC 8 Hazel Grace T. Taganas, ATI-RTC 8 Noemi Beth G. Macario, ATI-RTC 10 Mary Grace B. Salve, ATI-Caraga Layout Artist Benedict C. Natividad Editorial Consultant Jose Rey Y. Alo Advisers Asterio P. Saliot PhD, CESO III Evelyn Aro-Esquejo PhD, CESO VI The e-Extension Agenda Volume V No.2 September 2013 E ver wonder why they keep telling us that we have “a world of our own”? Let me guess. First guess. Kindly refer to my blog “Bilog ang puso ko” ( ph/blogs). In a gist, we have hearts that beat with an “e.” The e is the wind at our backs, the dynamo that sweeps over us. It is what gels us together, making us stick, inseparable. My second guess. I need to rewind a bit. We were in Baguio. Many were “gigil na gigil” to confront whoever made the “mess” in the so called “world of our own”. Many were already wounded with artillery of insults and sneers. This should not be happening. We thought we had our weapon ready only to be caught off-guard. The open letter silenced us before we aimed for the first shot. There was no cover up. It was a brave move. It indeed takes a great person to accept responsibility without passing the buck. It was the letter, a mark of greatness that made us remember the essentials rather than the frequencies, the breadth and depth rather than the facade. We almost let down our guard of being a class. The coldness of the day (it was 16 degrees centigrade outside) did not dampen our spirits. Not even the numbers nor the statistics. Evaluation doesn’t mean numbers only | Hazel Grace T. Taganas but also the beautiful experiences, the relations that were strengthened in carrying out a responsibility to its completion. WE failed, yes. But we did not quit. We stick. Always. And what more? We are a class. Howard E. Ferguson said: a class never runs scared, never makes excuses, is sure footed, considerate, never tries to build itself up by tearing others down. It is already up and need not strive to look better by making others look worse. A class can “walk with kings and keep it’s virtue, and talk with crowds and keep the common touch”. Everyone is comfortable with the person who has class because he is comfortable with himself. If you have class, you don’t need much of anything else and if you don’t have it, no matter what else you have, it doesn’t make much difference. If you have these, you are one of us. Welcome to our world. Join the thin rank of a class. Photo c/o MPSoliva