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From grandpa to grandson

Seu Irio and little Lucas, four years old, his grandfather's right-hand man to care for the dairy cattle at Sítio Bom Jesus.

Little Lucas, four years old, is grandpa Irio's right-hand man to care for the dairy cattle at Sítio Bom Jesus, in the Santíssima Trindade community. He has a little whip and imitates his grandfather's cries when he calls the cows to drink water in the São Pedro settlement heat. The farm is small — there are 30 heads — but with the help of the São Pedro Settlement Revitalization Project (PRASP), production grew from 120 liters of milk a day in March 2018 to 200 liters, six months later. With the proper management of the herd, his Irio now has more time to play with his grandson, who likes to exchange his doll for his grandfather's straw hat.
“Lucas calls the calves, helps me touch the cattle, where I am he is with me. Don't let go of me. This one is a beast,” says Irio Antonio Zeczkoski, 55, who came with his family from Paraná to Mato Grosso when he was ten years old. He started dealing with dairy cattle two years ago, but found it difficult to graze and manage the animals. The Teles Pires Hydroelectric Company (CHTP) project came to change this situation, with the concept of forest-livestock integration. “Among the actions of this planning are the planting of trees to shade livestock and soil conservation, with seedlings provided by the settlement's own nursery, such as African mahogany and eucalyptus,” explains veterinary doctor Sammara Nascimento, a PRASP consultant.
The cattle from Sítio Bom Jesus walked a lot in the sun to graze and drink water and, with this effort, produced little. The new management system allows for a greater number of animals per area, increasing productivity.

The project also prepared a diet for the animals prepared by Seu Irio on his own farm with corn, soy, cotton and mineral salts. “Before, I used to buy the feed at the store, it was more of an economy,” says Irio, who milks cows manually. With Luquinha's help, of course.