Theme 1: Rangeland/Grassland Ecology--Oral Sessions

Description

The Maronna Foundation was created in the 1980s by two brothers who were heirless farmers. After a visit to Massey University, New Zealand, they decided to use their fortune to support rural farming in the Brazilian Pampa through an agropastoral institute. Over the last four decades, the foundation has developed diverse research, education, and extension projects in partnership with local, regional, national, and international institutions, especially universities, research centers, non-governmental organizations and local governances. Recent surveys conducted in the area of the Maronna Foundation demonstrate the interest of local breeders in technologies applied to farming systems, mainly for rangeland and grassland management, cultivated forages, animal genetics and herd reproductive improvement. Such interest has been linked to the actions carried out by the Maronna Foundation over the years, as has been declared by local stakeholders, and has been scientifically demonstrated as planned in the NEXUS-Pampa Project. However, three characteristics should explain the situation: the philosophy of the Maronna Foundation that focuses on a collective approach to local growth and development; management led by a large, diverse and representative board; and practices based on both scientific competences and participative methods. The “Rincão do 28” association of family farmers could be used as a case of this materialized philosophy.

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Collective Approach of Rural Development: Case Study of “Maronna Foundation” in the Pampa Bioma, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

The Maronna Foundation was created in the 1980s by two brothers who were heirless farmers. After a visit to Massey University, New Zealand, they decided to use their fortune to support rural farming in the Brazilian Pampa through an agropastoral institute. Over the last four decades, the foundation has developed diverse research, education, and extension projects in partnership with local, regional, national, and international institutions, especially universities, research centers, non-governmental organizations and local governances. Recent surveys conducted in the area of the Maronna Foundation demonstrate the interest of local breeders in technologies applied to farming systems, mainly for rangeland and grassland management, cultivated forages, animal genetics and herd reproductive improvement. Such interest has been linked to the actions carried out by the Maronna Foundation over the years, as has been declared by local stakeholders, and has been scientifically demonstrated as planned in the NEXUS-Pampa Project. However, three characteristics should explain the situation: the philosophy of the Maronna Foundation that focuses on a collective approach to local growth and development; management led by a large, diverse and representative board; and practices based on both scientific competences and participative methods. The “Rincão do 28” association of family farmers could be used as a case of this materialized philosophy.