Photo: Jonathan and his Ecuadorian counterpart manually milking cow
[A] Radio interview [was] done concerning agriculture in the region. Questions included concerns of global warming, impacts of cattle production, and goals for the project. Milton Hugo’s farm is interested to see how sustainable cattle farming is starting.
“One of the problems that contributes [to] global warming is the cutting of trees for beef production, and because [of] the lack of nutrients in the pasture the farmer needs to keep cutting more and more forest, and so oxygen machines such as trees are no longer in rainforest areas” [quoted from Miguel Castanel, long time volunteer and Kentucky-Ecuador POA Orient Coordinator in the jungle region of Ecuador). With the system that Dr. Richard is establishing for improving nutrition in cattle he was able to improve the use of the grass areas from 1 cow per 2,54 acres up to 4 cows per 2,54 acres. He is using a mixture of local grasses with a high content of protein and sugar cane and feeding the cattle in stables. This method has applied for the carbon credits program and 10 farms running with this program are receiving the benefits.
Photo: mobile clinic in action
The biggest accomplishment of the first trip of this project was the positive response, excitement, and anticipation that were received from all of those involved, but more importantly from the farmers. Many of the community leaders were grateful and look forward to the progress that we hope to achieve, but it was the farmers who were truly excited about a program that was focused on helping them achieve higher production on their farms. This is perhaps the most important aspect of the program that we aim at establishing. Without the farmers support and willingness to participate, nothing will be achieved.
Photo: local cheese being packaged