The welcome breeze in face of the burning sun, the faint smell of fertilizer, and the distant hum of the diesel engine. I could tell with my eyes closed that I was on one of the many fertile farms that grace the lush valleys of western Virginia; but this was not just any farm. I was at Homefield farm- the organic research farm of Virginia tech- one of the many exciting, hands-on field trips I got to participate in through the Governor’s School for Agriculture at Virginia Tech.
We were given a private tour of Homefield by the farm manager, who showed us many of the components of a successful organic farm. He showed us everything from the implements, the crops themselves, and the various sustainable pest control methods which Homeview employs. The farm manager even took the time to run us through the whole food processing cycle, from harvesting to delivery.
We were able to see where the food we eat in the dining hall comes from, as well as various experimental plots on which professors are conducting research on. When we finally loaded back up into the buses, I had a deeper level of understanding for the work which goes into all agricultural operations; and a new appreciation for those who engage in the arduous process that ultimately delivers food to the table.