Mengmeng Gu, Researcher at Texas A&M and Southern SAWG Board member (TX)
Compared to a lot of people, I’m a very young ‘SSAWGer’. I just learned about high tunnel as a production technique and attended HT and cut flower short course around 2007. Around that time, I, along with other team members, received around $1M in various USDA grants to investigate high tunnel production and promote it to producers.
SSAWG introduced me to small and medium-sized producers. There are so
many differences of these producers from people I met before. They care, about
the land and people. They are passionate, about the land and people. They are
always positive, just about everything. Even bad weathers don’t sound that bad
in their conversation. They never complain about the government not doing
enough for them. They are so hopeful and their next year is always going to be
better. They are so eager to learn, and share. It’s a big family of 1200
conference attendees and those represented by these 1200 people. I’m glad to be
part of the family and have been back to the ‘family reunion’ every year.
With connections made at SSAWG, I made a lot of friends and colleagues, and those $1M was well-spent.