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We had the opportunity today to attend a workshop for aspiring entrepreneurs, local officials and farmers interested in agritourism. As a part of our vision to take on the reins at Fattorie Faggioli, we are following the fledgling agritourism sector in Washington building networking opportunities. Federica is now in the second quarter of her Ecological Agriculture program at Evergreen, still as dedicated a student as ever. I have listened frequently to Sam Cooke’s “What a Wonderful World” with her, suddenly reevaluating my own academic achievements in comparison to her truly tenacious scholarship. “Now, I don’t claim to be an A student/ But I’m trying to be/ For maybe by being an A student, baby/ I can win your love for me.”
Her emphasis this quarter has been understanding agricultural policy, like the long delayed Farm Bill on the national level, but most specifically Thurston County’s new agritourism initiative, the Bountiful Byway. Attending county hearings, reading codes, and talking with policymakers has highlighted how much Italy has influenced nascent developments here (pocket gophers and county politics notwithstanding). In today’s presentation, a Washington State University Extension Director, Curtis Beus, referenced the Italian agritourism laws Fausto helped write in 1985 as an example for Washingtonians to continue to follow. We introduced ourselves after his presentation, he told us about his Italian heritage and he asked Fede to come up and share her story with county commissioners and aspiring farmers. While clearly nervous, the scholarship and life experience she shares with such authority makes me very proud of her.
We’ve been preparing for the coming spring around here, as I prune the fruit trees and we nuzzle newborn kids exploring our neighborhood.