Carlos Zegwaard, from the Paran region of Brazil, receives a 2021 Nuffield International Scholarship supported by Castrolanda Cooperative and will study the dairy sector.
Carlos works on his family dairy farm in Castro, with special focus on managing the herd and staff. The business has 290 dairy cows producing approximately 11,500kg of type B milk per day and has a team of 12 staff. They plant 150 ha of corn, ryegrass and oats for dairy feed, and grow 60 ha of soybeans annually.
Carlos's main role is to ensure operations run smoothly, supervising and managing people that work on herd health and fertility, milking, feeding and crop management.
As part of his Nuffield Scholarship, Carlos will identify ways to improve dairy industry profits, including different ways to measure and reward milk quality when its collected at the farms.
"Milk quality is something Castrolanda is very proud of, in fact it's a pioneer in Brazil for paying dairy farmers based on milk quality, not only quantity," Carlos says.
"The current system at Castrolanda is that the milk tanker driver samples the milk as it is picked up on each farm, so there is room for possible human mistakes and even fraud."
"Dairy represents about one-third of the cooperatives income, so making sure milk payment is made in a fair and reliable way would have a very positive impact throughout our local community and wider region".
Carlos also suggests that automation will play a key role in the improvement of Brazilian dairy production, and he would like to visit Israel, New Zealand and Chile to research automation, in addition to production systems and transportation efficiency.
"Finding ways to improve efficiency and reliability of dairy farmers here in Castrolanda will have possible flow on benefits for the wider Brazilian dairy industry, since Castrolanda is used as a reference for other dairy producing areas to learn from".
Carlos has a Business Management degree from Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa (UEPG) as well as an Agricultural Technician qualification from the Instituto Cristo. He has spent time studying and working in the USA and his future goal is to play a significant role in the Brazilian dairy industry.
Castrolanda is a Brazilian cooperative union between people, partners and businesses. The Cooperative has business units divided into operations including meat, milk, grains, potatoes. The commitment of the business areas is to coordinate, develop and foster the activities of the cooperative members, being present in all links of the production chains and in adding value through industries with own brand production as well as third parties, which contribute to the development representativeness in the market.