Lady farmer defying all odds: A Story of Optimism and Empowerment

Farming is about touching the soil and seeing life emerge from the ground that humbles the heart of Agnes Ramos. The 64 year old farmer, a wife, and a mother of two, describes farming as one of the most honorable professions because it contributes to the sustainability and security of food in the country. She goes on to say that farming has improved their standard and quality of living and allowed her and her husband to provide enough for their family.

In 1982, Agnes Ramos and her husband, Samuel N. Ramos started farming on a 10,000-square meter rice field located at Brgy. Palabotan, Dupax del Sur, Nueva Vizcaya wherein it became their primary source of income. As the actual tillers of the land, the Department of Agrarian Reform-Nueva Vizcaya awarded the land to them through the issuance of a Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) title in the year 2009. 

However, due to the increasing demands of life, her husband decided to work as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in 1995 to provide for their family's need so they can live comfortably. Agnes was left in charge of running their farm and looking after their kids. 

Additionally, aside from being a wife, a mother and a farmer, she also worked as a manager and an active member of Saint Vincent Parish Multi-Purpose Cooperative for 21 years(1997-2018). During her time as manager, the Saint Vincent Multi-purpose cooperative became one of the most outstanding  and progressive agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations in the province. Currently, she is also a treasurer in Agrizkaya and NVFARAC, an active Board of Director in Nueva Vizcaya Surety Fund, Auditor of Senior Citizen Organization and Ethics Member/mediator of Lupon ng Barangay. 

Agnes’s journey to success was not all smooth sailing. In 2016, she faced a physical health crisis after being diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer. She has had undergone several surgeries and has been on medication for the past seven years. She is now cancer-free. Furthermore, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, as massive shutdowns began, her husband was not able to return abroad, consequently, his employer decided not to renew his contract. Her husband made the decision to stay permanently to continue developing their farm land. Agnes and Samuel became more determined and inspired by these challenges to strive more and provide for the best possible future for their children and grandchildren. 

Through the years, with couples tenacity and perseverance, they were able to send  their two children to private school and are now all graduated. At present, her eldest son, who graduated from St. Mary's University with a degree in hotel and restaurant management, is employed as the head chef at Green Oasis Restaurant in Dupax del Sur. Her youngest son who has a degree of Banking and Finance is currently employed in the Local Government Unit of Dupax del Sur. 

With their blood, sweat and tears, Agnes and her family now have their own house and vehicle, and were able to acquire other assets. This includes the purchase of a 1.3 hectare land in the same area to expand their farm, poultry, hog raising facilities and produce a variety of vegetables.