07 February 2010
Argentina - Getting Started
Some farmers here have formed groups of about 10 people. These groups are called CREA (an acronym that I will have to pull in later). These groups hire an advisor who visits the fields of each farmer once a month. In addition, the farmers meet as a group about once a month. In these groups, one farmer will provide all details of his/her operation, including the economics. The other farmers will review the details and provide feedback on ways to improve the operation.
Each group elects a president to serve for two years. The presidents of all groups in a region elect a 'vocal' to serve two years. The groups in a region also hire a regional coordinator. Santiago Nobile is president of his CREA group. He and his family helped us looked for housing. Jorge Minteguiaga is the Regional Coordinator for CREA Sur de Santa Fe and he also helped us look for housing. Carlos Jolly is the Vocal for CREA Sur de Santa Fe. Both Santiago and Carlos have welcomed me to their homes.
Santiago and Jorge gave an overview of CREA to our Kentucky farmers when they visited the area. At the start of the presentation, our farmers said there was no way this could work in Kentucky. By the end of the week, they thought that CREA might be a possibility. During my sabbatical, I'm going to try to figure out if a concept like CREA would work back home. To do that, I need to learn how CREA works. Stay tuned...