Hello! I am Wan Aliff, the latest addition to Jurong Frog Farm. I am currently an NIE undergraduate under the NTU-NIE Teaching Scholars Programme and on a track to be a Science/Mathematics teacher. As part of the BUILD (Building University Interns for Leadership Development) programme, I will be serving a 2-month internship at JFF with the objectives of learning leadership and operational skills from an industry apart from education as well as to value add to the company through means such as projects.
It’s only been my second week here and already it has been one huge experience. Set in a remote, opposite end of Singapore, it takes me about 2.5 hours of public commute if I am travelling from home. However, there is no reason to complain as the foreign workers on the farm wakes up diligently at 6 am every single day to wash and feed the frogs. Who knew running a farm could be this busy? Every single person on deck is responsible in ensuring that the farm runs smoothly.
Initially, I had some trouble memorising the content as well as delivering tours for preschool students as I wasn’t used to interacting with students of that age group. I had the privilege of having Zheng Xun and Jackson to occasionally provide tips for improvements during the tours. Although I had some experience conducting tour groups at the Sports Hub last year for older students, this was a completely different experience. During my first few tries, I made many assumptions based on the content given to me. For example, once I was telling the pre-schoolers that most of the tadpoles do not live to be an adult frog due to cannibalism which was not entirely true. Zheng Xun, the Froggy Guide who was observing the tour was quick to correct me and explain that tadpoles die for many other reasons too such as diseases, predators and often naturally.
Once, I had the chance to try out deboning the frog for a day. It took an entire day to completely debone them for me as compared to the workers who can do it in half a day. It left me with sores and aching legs and by the end of the day, I crashed on my bed and slept dead as a log by 9pm in exhaustion. It got me to reflect however. Not all jobs are ever pleasant. There I was silently complaining of the stench and the back-breaking work but at the end of the day someone must do the work. This had only been a day’s work for me and I could only just imagine the workers who had to debone the meat for the past few years. Also, I would not have been able to complete deboning the frog by the end of the day without the help of Jen and the director of JFF, Chelsea. Yes, that is right, sometimes even the boss must get her hands dirty to get the job done. To run the company, you must understand what each of your workers are doing. This was a very valuable lesson for me.
What I was really impressed thus far is the passion by the people working here for the farm. From young we were taught that Singapore’s economy had to evolve from agricultural to manufacturing and now towards high-value added technology to stay competitive. Little emphasis is thus given to understand the small agricultural scene here. The struggle to remain relevant and to preserve this rich heritage of Singapore is evident through the daily operations on the farm. You need passion. You need innovation and you need perseverance to keep a farm running in Singapore. Jurong Frog Farm is open come rain or shine through weekends and public holidays. The people here are always ready to welcome anyone to the farm with a smile and I think that is what makes the place a magical one.
Green Living Eco Lifestyle Event
Jurong Frog Farm is participating in the Green Living Eco Lifestyle Event http://www.green-living.com.sg/ under their Sustainability partner, Gardenasia’s incubation platform, tomorrow till Sunday (9 – 11 Sep), 10am to 7pm at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre.
This year’s Green Living Eco Lifestyle Event is inspired by the central theme “Cities of Love”. It advocates the love for our home & country by learning, experiencing and adopting green products to lead a modern and convenient lifestyle, while minimizing the negative impact of our consumption to the environment and society.
Going “Green” (just like our frogs), recycling and minimizing consumption has always been a key social responsibility of JFF. While we strive for a modern and convenient lifestyle, we cannot forget that there is nothing convenient about raising crops and breeding frogs. It takes a lot of time, patience and tender loving care by our farmers.
JFF is also pretty serious about bio recycling on their farm! We will be bringing out a 100% locally sourced and manufactured product, our bottled Premium Hashima with American ginseng and also Specially Selected Dried Hashima to this fair. Sampling will also be available on request!
So next time when you are busy gobbling down the Frog Porridge in Geylang or gobbling down our Buttermilk Cajun Frog Meat or Royal Hashima Dessert at our Farm. Please take a breather to remember the farmers’ effort that goes into that cultivation of all those frogs.
Adopt a green living lifestyle today and you can certainly start by finishing all your food at mealtimes today!
“Writing a letter of appreciation is something I’ve never done before, but from now onwards, I will make it a point to write one for every Christmas because it’s so meaningful.
There are so many people in my life I want to thank. Naturally, the first people I want to thank is my family. Even though sometimes they are unreasonable, but ultimately, they just purely care for me and my wellbeing. I want to thank my parents for providing me financial support for my whole life up to the second month of internship, because that was when I got my first pay and I weaned off their money and started using my own instead. Without their support financially or mentally, I don’t think I would have been able to survive in this world. I want to thank my sister for always being a listening ear to me, giving me wise advice when I don’t know who else to turn to. She can be very annoying at times, but when she’s not, she’s a delight to be with. (I know I annoy her too.)
The next people I want to thank are my friends. They have kept me going throughout my whole poly life, made school so much more interesting, and made my life a much more enjoyable one. Without them, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today, because they all have influenced the moulding of my personality in order to deal with the harsh world.
Next, I want to thank my boyfriend for “training” me to become a less annoying person, and to have a better temper. Before I met him, my temper was atrocious. Maybe not towards my friends, but towards closer people in my life. He has taught me that not everything will go my way because people sometimes don’t meet my expectations, and I can’t flare up at them because of that.
Last but not least, I would like to thank my JFF friends for accepting me so warmly into the JFF family. When I make any mistakes, I will get corrected in a nice way. I have indeed learnt a lot from working here, and I dare say that I’m not the same person I was at the start of internship in terms of personality.”
“”In the spirit of Christmas, there are many things to be thankful for. But what strikes a chord this season is the love of a family. This year my family have stood by me to help me through some tough and challenging emotional setbacks. They have become my pillar of support to be thankful for which have kept me going. Their encouragements and prayers are a comfort to my soul knowing that they will always be there for me when I am in need. Their simple actions like buying meals and sending me to work exemplifies their boundless love and care. This season, I celebrate the spirit of love with my love ones and I hope you will too.”
~ Frogician, Charlane
“There are so many people whom I have to say a BIG THANK YOU to! Many who have joined us at some point in this froggie biz. Firstly Mel, who has been with us for 16 months, now, is most responsible with her backend duties and reliable as a frontline combat soldier.
Anna, who supported us in the 2nd quarter is the sunshine of the farm. I finally got married, much credits to her, Mel and Kaiting who held the fort for, most of the weekends!
Many thanks to James, the staunch supporter to JFF, who has introduced Charlane, now our Frogician to us. I always see that childlike innocence in her especially when she flashes her signature megawatt smile. Thank you, Frogician for training my patience and reminding me constantly on the appreciation of simple pleasures! To Felicia, our Froglette, who shines as a task exterminator. She is always asking for things to do so that she can write it on and strike it off her To Do list.
To Mrs Frog, aka Mum, for preparing our meals so that we work hard knowing that there is always a warm meal waiting for us at the mid and the end of the day.
To the rest of our team of production workers and drivers! What is JFF without each and anyone of your contribution?? Much gratitude too to all our dear friends and customers.”
~ Frog Princess, Chelsea