Edward Haight: Cultivating a Century old Legacy of Innovation in Atok’s Highland Farming

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Edward Haight photo, a co-founding chief advisor and president of haights farm trading on FarmConnect an Agritech Startup Philippines

In the heart of the Cordillera mountain range in the Philippines, at an altitude of 7,400 feet above sea level, lies the picturesque municipality of Atok in Benguet Province. Known for its breathtaking landscapes and cooler climate, Atok has a rich agricultural heritage dating back to the time when Edward Haight’s great-grandfather, Franklyn Guy Haight, arrived in the region at the turn of the 19th century as a civil engineer working on the renowned Kennon Road. Little did he know that his legacy would go beyond engineering and extend into the world of farming, shaping the life of Edward Haight, a third-generation farmer and a visionary advocate for good agricultural practices.

The story of the Haight family’s journey into farming is one of determination, innovation, and a commitment to connecting farmers and markets. Franklyn Guy Haight brought high-value seeds from Pennsylvania, USA, introducing farming to the people of Atok and kickstarting a tradition that would continue for generations. As Edward Haight proudly carries on his family’s farming legacy, he has become a forerunner in the local produce industry and a strong advocate for Good Agricultural Practice (GAP), an ASEAN-standard for growing, harvesting, and preparing crops.

Edward Haight’s journey in farming started long before he became the Advisor and Co-Founder of FarmConnect, the Philippines’ leading platform that collectively manages the entire agricultural value chain, providing sustainable solutions to intelligently connect farmers and markets. It all began with a deep-seated passion for the land, a desire to bring change to the Philippine agriculture industry, and a chance encounter that would shape the future of farming in the region.

Atok, Benguet Province – A Unique Agricultural Landscape

Atok, perched at an altitude that challenges conventional farming practices, is unique in the Philippines. The cool climate, high elevation, and fertile soil provide the ideal conditions for growing temperate crops such as strawberries, cabbages, and potatoes. The Haight family recognized the potential of this high-altitude farming, and Franklyn Guy Haight’s introduction of high-value seeds from Pennsylvania marked the beginning of a horticultural revolution in Atok.

Edward Haight’s grandfather, William Haight, continued the family’s agricultural legacy, expanding the farm’s horizons to include various temperate crops. The Haight Farm soon became a renowned name in Atok for producing top-quality fruits and vegetables, all while adhering to sustainable and responsible farming practices.

Edward Haight: Advocate for Good Agricultural Practice

Edward Haight, following in the footsteps of his family, has been a driving force behind the adoption of Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) in the region. GAP is a set of standards and principles that promote safe and sustainable farming, ensuring the production of high-quality and safe agricultural products. Edward’s dedication to GAP principles not only reflects his commitment to delivering safe and nutritious produce but also elevates the reputation of Atok’s agricultural products on the national and international stage.

The Haight Farm in Atok has become a shining example of how embracing GAP can enhance the quality and safety of agricultural products. Edward’s advocacy has not only benefited his own farm but has also inspired other local farmers to adopt these practices, ultimately contributing to the betterment of the entire Atok community.

The Birth of FarmConnect

Edward Haight’s impact on the agricultural landscape reached its zenith when he delivered a talk on the pressing issues faced by the Philippine agriculture industry. In his talk, he emphasized the critical need for a seamless connection between farmers and markets. His idea was simple yet transformative: creating a platform that would bridge this gap and empower local farmers.

It was during this talk that fate intervened. Diego Jose Ramos, an Entrepreneur in Residence and Chief Innovation Officer of an incubation company for social enterprise startups, and the Founder of FarmConnect, happened to be in the audience. As he listened to Edward’s passionate plea for change, the idea of using technology and innovation to address the Philippines’ 30-year-old agricultural problem began to take shape.

Diego approached Edward with a vision, one that would go on to become the founding story of FarmConnect. Their shared passion for the agricultural industry and their commitment to making a real difference in the lives of farmers and the community served as the driving force behind this innovative platform.

FarmConnect: Re-engineering Philippine Agriculture through an ESG-centered Value Chain Experience Economy. 

Today, FarmConnect stands as the Philippines’ only platform that collectively manages the entire agriculture value chain. It offers a range of solutions that empower farmers and connect them with the market in an intelligent and sustainable manner.

The platform addresses several key challenges in the agricultural industry:

  1. Market Access: FarmConnect simplifies market access for farmers by providing them with a direct connection to buyers, eliminating intermediaries, and ensuring fair prices for their produce.
  2. Interoperability: Artificial Intelligence ethical application to every moving part of the supply chain. 
  3. Intelligent Computing of Economic and Social Indexes: ESG tracking and reporting capability, this platform allows all stakeholders to contribute value that the platform calculates using ISOQUANT and Diminishing Return Principles that goes through an algorithmic impact matrix that provides qualitative and quantitative data. 
  4. Data-Driven Insights: FarmConnect utilizes data analytics to provide valuable insights to farmers, enabling them to make informed decisions about their farming practices.
  5. Sustainability: Edward Haight’s commitment to sustainable farming practices is reflected in FarmConnect, which promotes environmentally friendly and responsible agriculture.

Edward Haight’s involvement with FarmConnect serves as a testament to his unwavering dedication to improving the lives of farmers and the agricultural industry in the Philippines. His journey from continuing his family’s farming legacy to becoming a co-founder and advisor of a platform that is transforming the industry is an inspiring story of passion, innovation, and the relentless pursuit of positive change.

The Legacy Continues

As Edward Haight and FarmConnect continue their mission to connect farmers and markets, they are not only making a difference in the lives of local farmers but also contributing to the sustainable development of the region of the Cordilleras and eventually, the entire nation, a step at a time. The legacy of the Haight family, which began with a civil engineer’s vision, has evolved into a beacon of hope for the future of Philippine agriculture.

Edward Haight’s story serves as an inspiration for the next generation of farmers, encouraging them to embrace innovation, sustainable practices, and the power of connectivity. With leaders like Edward and platforms like FarmConnect, the future of agriculture in the Philippines is undoubtedly promising, offering new opportunities and improved livelihoods for all those involved.

In the high-altitude haven of Atok, Edward Haight’s legacy is not just one of farming; it’s a legacy of transformation and progress that will continue to bloom for generations to come.

FarmConnect’s exclusive consolidation and trading partner is Haight’s Farm Trading, Inc. All rights reserved 2023.

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