Logroño, (EFE).- Mamen Carrillo, a poultry farmer from La Rioja, has assured EFE that, in order to launch a professional project, every woman must be “brave” and work for her goals, that “each one must set herself and not depend on what others propose.
Carrillo (Logroño, 1967), married to a farmer and mother of two boys aged 29 and 26, works with them on the Huevocón farm, located in the town of Los Molinos de Ocón (La Rioja).
As head of the Women’s area of the UAGR-COAG agrarian organization, she has participated in a work day at the El Raso de Calahorra cooperative, to “vindicate the role of women in rural areas and their contribution to life” in the towns.
“My grandparents had a bar and a store in the town, I always lived in the rural environment. Later, I married a farmer and worked in the fields”, she has recounted.
The farm, a new job opportunity
After the economic crisis, his family considered a new job opportunity, but never wanted to leave the rural environment, so in 2015 they decided to start a farm for free-range eggs.
For her, “working in a town is not harder”, “you live more calmly”, but, nevertheless, currently, there are other problems due to the lack of services, which makes it “more difficult to reconcile family and work life ”.
Although his family is based in the La Rioja town of Corera, he chose Los Molinos de Ocón, 5 kilometers from his place of residence, to start his farm, in the middle of the La Rioja Biosphere Reserve.
There, Carrillo opted to raise chickens outdoors, so that they have enough space to move freely during the day and feed on cereal-based feed, such as corn, wheat and soybeans, in addition to what they peck at in the pastures. .
Apart from the thousand chickens, they have 24 geese, but he prefers not to increase the number of birds further in order to “be able to control production and pamper the animals as much as possible so that they give eggs of the highest quality.”
For this poultry farmer, who is in charge of managing the farm, the most complicated thing when starting her business was completing all the bureaucracy to comply with environmental permits and licenses, as they are located in the Biosphere Reserve, and respecting the “strict” animal welfare requirements.
Neither displaced, nor more difficulties
As a woman, she has assured that in her work she has never felt displaced and she has never considered that, due to her feminine condition, she would have to face more difficulties, although she has recognized that other colleagues do suffer them.
“Sometimes you can’t have everything under control. If you have the illusion of doing something, cultivating vineyards, planting olive trees or raising pigs, whatever, you have to start. As the days go by and you overcome the problems, you see that the business is viable and that you don’t have to depend on anyone”, she underlined.
However, he has ensured that in the field “little progress has been made” in other areas, such as shared ownership of farms, for couples who share work and management of their crops.
“It’s very complicated. It is a legal figure that requires paying two contributions to Social Security and to the self-employed, which doubles the expenses at a time when costs are skyrocketing in agricultural businesses ”, he has assumed.
Although he believes that there are people who want to settle in rural areas to work in organic or environmentally friendly crops, he has considered that, “sometimes, it is not possible: the demands are very great.”
His work as a poultry farm gives him “stability, pride and tranquility” to do what he really wants and likes, he concluded. EFE