This week Global Farmer Network memberGeorgina “Gina” Gutierrezis sharing her views on sustainability. A fifth generation farmer, she and her family operate a dairy farm in the central region of Mexico near the Mexico City area.

Running a dairy is time intensive and never stops. Yet, Gina finds time to be active on her own social media and through La Vida Lctea helping tell the story of farming. Plus, she writes a regular columnHoard’s Dairyman en espaol.

*English is a second language for most GFN members and responses may have been lightly edited.

 

Global Farmer Network Board member Georgina Gutierrez, Pachuca, Mexico

Gina participated in the 2016 Global Farmer Roundtable.

Question:What is your definition of sustainablefarming?

Answer:I define sustainable farming as the practices farmers take toproduce the best food food that’saffordable, available, high quality, etc. And, it’s donein ways that dont harm the environment, but on the contrary, helpwithconservation, and thefostering and renewal of natural resources.

 

 

Question:Whatfarmingpractices are you using on yourfarmtoday that helps the sustainability of yourfarmingoperation and the soil that you arefarmingon?

Answer: A quick list of things include:

Solar energy solar panels that produce all the energy my farm needs.

Water recycling our milkingparlourand the facilities where we keep the cows are designed to be flushed with water, so that water is reused to keep everything clean and we have specialequipment ?toseparate water (to recycle again or sent to our fields) from solids (manure) that we use for compost.

Composting the solids we separate everyday are used for compost. After the process is completed, we store it and use it as bedding material for our cows beds and as fertilizer as we prepare the land before planting. We also make a little bit of compost tea as fertilizer.

Choosing bio-friendly chemicals we prefer to choose disinfectants, soaps, etc. that are biodegradable.

Gina with several of her 2016 GFR colleagues from around the world.

Question:Where do you get information about sustainablefarmingpractices that are appropriate for yourfarm?

Answer:We are always in touch with our suppliers, other farmers and mailing lists [promotional material].

 

Question:How do you determine what practices work best on yourfarm?

Answer:We talk to other farmers and see what has worked for them before, and if no one has done something we are thinking of then we try to run the numbers,make a plan, and adapt it to what we have – and we make a lot of trial efforts.

 

 

Gina and Canadian dairy farmer Joas Van Oord were selected by their 2016 GFR peers to speak during a ceremony.

Question:Are there specific technologies that will support the sustainability of yourfarmingoperation?

Answer:We could always use more technological tools; we are right now looking into drones that may help us in certain activities on the fields.

 

Question:Do you share sustainablefarmingpractices that you use with otherfarmers? If yes, how?

Answer: [Yes]We arrange farm visits, or [discussions] when we have meetings at our company, or even just aphone callor WhatsAppmessage also works.