Isidora Molina Perez de Castro, from Santiago in Chile, receives a 2022 Nuffield International Scholarship generously supported by TIAA CREF Global Agriculture and the Chris Reichstein Philanthropy Fund.
With a veterinary science background, Isidora is founder and director of Efecto Manada, which promotes regenerative agriculture to farmers by using holistic management methodologies in beef operations, fruit orchards and vineyards, to mimic nature and enhance the environment. Prior to setting up Efecto Manada, Isidora worked with weeds and holistic management, where she developed weed control, soil improvement and holistic planned grazing systems with sheep in orchards and vineyards. Isidora is eager to expand her knowledge of the regenerative agriculture topic, particularly with grazing animals.
"I applied for a Nuffield Scholarship as I have visited several ranches in other countries and learned different regenerative practices, and I want to expand on this with topics such as climate change, biodiversity and water scarcity," she says.
"Here in Chile, like many other countries, water scarcity is growing and generating loss of land and soil as well as food productivity. If the land is not managed the right way grazing animals can have a negative impact on the soil and environment, yet if managed correctly they can enhance soil health and environmental services, adding value to produce high-quality nutritious foods," she says.
Isidora would like to visit California and Colorado in the USA, Northern Mexico, Spain, Africa and regions of Turkey and Australia, which all have ranchers implementing regenerative practices across savannahs and semi-arid regions.
Having worked with consultants and trained more than 350 people in holistic management techniques from Santiago to Patagonia, Isidora has the capacity to share the outcomes of her scholarship.
"We have been growing my business rapidly, and in collaboration with Universidad Catlica de Chile, I will share everything I learn about regenerative grazing to benefit small, medium and large-scale Chilean producers."