March 14th finally arrived! The Hawkeye Community College 2017 Brazil Study Abroad group had the opportunity to tour a dairy farm, Piracanjuba Pro-Campo. Visiting the dairy farm was exciting for me coming from a dairy background. The purpose of this dairy farm was to train new farmers on milking, feeding, breeding, and much more. Piracanjuba Pro-Campo had 480 cows, milking 200 of the cows twice a day. The diary managers taught their milking practices in a parlor, similar to what we have in the United States, but everything was open. The location of Brazil we were visiting does not have much dairy farming, but people are willing to learn and start their own farms.
The farm was awesome and I am so fortunate that we got to tour it; it felt like home away from home. Some noticeable differences included the way their milk trucks looked, year round heat, and technology. While there were some contrasts to the form of farming I am use to, the fresh smell of grass was still the sweet, summer smell of Iowa.
I got to share a lot of my stories from my dairy farm with the farm manager. Via live feed, the managers were able to view Holstein cows being milked by a robot. Also, I was able to show them the setup of my dairy barn and other cattle buildings through pictures. The farm workers were very impressed by the modern technology used in Iowa. Showing them my pictures struck up conversations and lots of questions about each other's ways of dairy farming.