Touring a high-tech dairy farm in Uruguay

As part of the IFAJ pre-Congress tour in Urugay, a group of 20 journalists from around the world visited a very high-tech dairy farm. The Talar dairy company in Uruguay was started by Juan Carlos López Mena, who had a dream of helping to provide food to the world. In 2006, construction on the dairy farm began and by 2008, they started milking cows. The farm occupies about 6,800 hectares (about 16,800 acres) for dairy and feed production. In total, there are 3,200 cows on the farm, and cows are milked three times per day to keep them comfortable.

A major focus at Talar is sustainability. All feed for the animals is grown on site, and all waste is composted. A major expansion is in progress, and Juan Carlos says the company's goal is to produce zero pollution in the future. All water used on the farm is recycled on site, and some of the manure is processed for biofuel.

Juan Carlos was able to start a dairy farm based on his past business successes. He is the owner of Buquebus, a major transportation company in Argentina and Uruguay. The group on the tour took Buquebus ferries and buses throughout the trip. Buquebus is also built on a model of sustainability. The buses use 50% biodiesel, and some of them are completely electric, which is a first for Uruguay. Juan Carlos' next goal, he said, was to reach 0% pollution with both his dairy farm and transportation company.

Talar produces about 25,000 liters of milk per day and does so in an extremely efficient way. Take a look at how it's done and what the end products looks like.

All photos: Mark Moore

Get more from the tour in Uruguay:

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