US embassy official visits NTA-Ilocos Norte
(By Elaine A. Tinio)Deputy Economic Counselor Brent Christensen, of the United States Embassy, visited NTA-Ilocos Norte on October 14, 2010 to look specifically into the economic situation of Ilocos Norte with emphasis of the tobacco industry
According to Christensen, US Ambassador Harry K. Tomas, Jr. wanted him to know in fact the history of the tobacco industry in Ilocos Norte.
He was welcomed by some officials and staff led by Mr. Mario E. Corpuz, Department Manager III; Ms. Elaine A. Tinio, Administrative Officer III; Ms. Luzveminda R. Truong, OIC Manager of the Farm Technology Services Dept .(FTSD) ; Ms. Juanilla V. Raquel, Supervising Science Research Specialist, Techno. Lab Services & Instrumentation Division (TLSID); Ms. Imelda C. Parbo, Senior Science Research Specialist, Products Development Division (PDD); and Mr. Benjamin P. Fiesta, Science Research Specialist I (PDD), among others.
The group toured him around the Paper & Ethanol Laboratories of the Industrial & Market Research Department (IMRD) and at the TLSID wherein he was briefed in detail about the on-going projects of the agency, particularly on the other uses of tobacco and the process of soil analysis and the use of the different pieces of equipment available in the laboratory.
He was also shown the curing barns adjacent to the NTA Building Complex and was informed on its great use and importance.
He also visited the agency's Tobacco Seedling Production Project in cooperation with the Universal Leaf Phils., Inc. (ULPI) in Barangay San Mateo, Batac, Ilocos Norte.
Earlier, a brief dialogue took place and he was very much interested on how productive are the yields of other crops aside from tobacco, like corn and tomatoes.
Christensen mentioned that NTA was his first official visit outside Metro Manila upon his arrival to the country.
He is an economist and had just finished his Masteral Degree in Statistics. He grew up practically in Mississippi, USA in a farm with his parents.