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“Because I love it…”

I’m a little late on the “During Trip” blog post but here goes nothing!

Monday was a very busy day with farm tours, research station visits and to end the day dinner at the Central Kiyu Bull Test Station. One of my favorite parts was visiting the Veiga Family dairy.

This is the family house and where the first milking parlor was located. 

This is the family house and where the first milking parlor was located.

The Veiga Dairy was started by Mr. Veiga 32 years ago and has continued to grow…even enough to build another milking parlor with the capability to milk 32 cows at a time. In addition to the dairy, he also participates in other operations that supplement his income. He leases some of his land to local farmers to allow them to graze cattle or plant rice. Mr. Veiga also had over 100 hogs at one point, but he sold them all and now only raises a 4-5 for his family’s consumption.

Construction is underway for the new milking parlor with the capability to milk 32 cows at a time. The current milking parlor can only milk 16 cows at a time.

Construction is underway for the new milking parlor with the capability to milk 32 cows at a time. The current milking parlor can only milk 16 cows at a time.

During the tour, I asked why he decided to get into the dairy industry. After all, he didn’t inherit the operation, he built it from the ground up, he replied by patting his heart and saying “Because I love it..” and my heart melted. What I walked away from the Veiga Farm realizing is that farmers, whether in the US or abroad, have a passion for feeding people. People in the agriculture industry face many challenges such as: losing your favorite cow, a hail storm destroying acres of crops, and the list is never-ending. Despite these challenges, farmers get up everyday and continue to do what they love, farm! This attitude of passion and pride could be seen and heard on every tour we went to throughout the whole week! Uruguayan farmers and researchers love what they do and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

Mr. Veiga has three children but none of them plan to take over the family farm. He doesn’t know what he will do when the time comes to retire but he said he will continue to milk, feed, and care for the cows health until his day comes. Until then, I wish nothing but the best to Mr. Veiga and his family because they love what they do and that simple fact will keep the farm going for as long as possible. I believe as long as the agriculture industry has people such as Mr. Veiga the industry will still face problems, but we will overcome them simply because we love it!

The cows are grazing on pastures that are mostly native grasses and improved with oats.

The cows are grazing on pastures that are mostly native grasses and improved with oats.