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International farmers visit Poplar Point, Coosa
By Christa Jennings
Passersby may have noticed a large group of visitors busy in the fields of the Hanover community earlier this week.
Approximately 25 international farmers came to visit Coosa County and specifically Poplar Point Camp this month. The group included farmers from Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Paraguay, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, Canada, and many from all over the United States, especially Tennessee, Wyoming, Texas, Florida, and Georgia.
The farmers arrived at the camp in Hanover on May 8, and most are leaving today. While here, they have been learning to be organic Christian farmers.
Poplar Point Camp Director Travis Milhan explained that the farmers were learning from lectures and then putting into physical practice the skills they learned, both at Rora Valley Farms on County Road 49 and by setting up a local garden for free for Joe Jones, Hanover resident.
Foundations for Farming and Crown Financial Ministries are the parent sponsors of the conference at the camp.
Hanover resident Noah Sanders with Rora Valley Farm hosted the group, along with Poplar Point Camp. Sanders is an author and public speaker who is well known in the Foundations for Farming world.
Milhan said that Sanders is a sought after speaker for farming conferences all over the United States, as well as internationally. This connection helped bring the international farmers to Coosa County.
While in the county, the group of 25 stayed in the beautiful Poplar Point Camp cabins, and the camp cooked all of their meals during their stay. Being able to stay at the camp was truly convenient, as it was just a short drive from Rora Valley Farm, where much of their hands-on instruction took place.
The group was also able to use the camp’s newly renovated meeting room for their conference. In fact, the Foundations for Farming was actually the first group to be able to utilize the renovated chapel and meeting room at Poplar Center.
Milhan explained that the building had the drop ceiling removed, and the ceiling was spray foamed. This created a beautiful and energy-efficient arched ceiling.
Additionally, the dining hall being attached to the large meeting room was ideal for the group as they had in-classroom training.
While here, the group also went to a local resident’s home and made a garden for Joe Jones, who lives on U.S. Highway 231 near the Hanover Volunteer Fire Department. The farmers continued their hands-on training by installing a new garden for him.
Jones was thankful for the work done, saying that the group did “a wonderful job.”
“We appreciate all of their help, as well as the education that was learned,” Jones said.
The Foundations for Farming group visiting the area has also been a true blessing to Poplar Point Camp, especially after the difficulties of the past year.
“After having such a financially hard year due to not being able to host groups due to COVID-19, we have been ecstatic to have such an interesting and wonderful group travel to Coosa County and stay at the camp for this event,” Milhan said. “We hope this is just the beginning of groups returning to the camp and our great county.”
Because of the pandemic, each individual in the group traveling for the conference had to be tested for COVID-19 before traveling to Coosa County.
According to the Foundations for Farming website, “Foundations for Farming and Crown Financial Ministries have combined forces with their proven methodologies to serve those dependent upon the land by empowering the people to be the best farmers in the world, to learn to operate as a God-designed family and to faithfully steward their local resources.”
For more information on Foundations for Farming, visit www.foundationsforfarming.com.
For more information on Poplar Point Camp, visit http://poplarpointcamp.com or contact 256-377-2606.
Poplar Point is also gearing up for summer camp, and registration is now open for it. The summer camp will be held from June 6-11 for 7-11-year-olds and from June 20-25 for 7-11 and 11-18-year-olds.
More information on summer camp is also available at the Poplar Point Camp website, and locals can get $40 off camp registration when they use the coupon code “Coosa40.” Visit poplarpointcamp.com/camp to register.
A group of about 25 farmers from the United States and abroad visited Coosa County and Poplar Point Camp this month for the Foundations for Farming conference. Photo submitted by Travis Milhan
In addition to lectures and in-classroom training, the international farmers were able to get their hands dirty with on-hand training at Rora Valley Farms in the Hanover community. Photo submitted by Travis Milhan
Visiting farmers put what they have learned into practice at Rora Valley Farms in Hanover, as they learn to be organic Christian farmers. Photo submitted by Travis Milhan
Joe Jones, Hanover resident, stands in the garden the group of farmers built for him for free. He appreciates the “wonderful job” the group did on the garden. Photo submitted by Travis Milhan
The group of farmers with the Foundations for Farming conference receive training in the Poplar Center. Photo submitted by Travis Milhan