Towards a Greener Costa Rica: From Dairy to Organic Vegetable Farm (In Spanish)
Greetings, friendly viewers and welcome to Animal World: Our
Co-Inhabitants. Featuring ever-stretching sandy beaches and azure seas,
the peaceful country of Costa Rica in Central America is blessed with a
rich variety of flora and fauna. In 2007, the Costa Rican government
announced their strong commitment to become a carbon neutral country by
According to the Happy Planet Index, Costa Rica is the
greenest country in the world. Mr. Carlos Huertas, a Costa Rican
farmer, is a leader and role model who is supporting his nation’s
wonderful environmental initiative by running a sustainable organic
vegetable farm that once was a dairy. Today’s program features the
inspirational story of Mr. Carlos Huertas and his Verdegal Organic
Vegetable Farm located in the town of Palmira de Zarcero, Costa Rica.
Carlo Huertas (m):
I came from a dairy farming family. Since I was a little boy, I have
been milking the cows. Later on, my dad gave us our own plot to
cultivate when we got married, so I started to make the dairy bigger,
making a kind of feedlot.
HOST: For many years the Huertas
family had made a living by selling milk from their dairy farm, with
5.5 hectares of farmland devoted to dairy production. What sparked Mr.
Huertas to end his involvement in animal husbandry?
Carlo Huertas (m):
I had 40 cows in the feedlot. Then I was offered a whole herd from a
dairy that was going to be closed down. We made a deal and we
introduced the cows into our feedlot and about three years later, we
realized that the bull and all the cows from that herd were infected
with brucellosis. Since the bull was infected, all the cows also became
HOST: On a typical dairy farm, cows are crammed in
tight warehouses and injected with bovine growth hormones so they will
produce 10 times more milk than they would normally give.
to experience prolonged suffering both mentally and physically, the
immune systems of dairy cows are weakened and they frequently become
infected with diseases.
Carlo Huertas (m): The milk from a cow infected with brucellosis, mustn’t be drunk, because the milk passes the brucellosis to humans.