Working in a world that has been traditionally led by men, Sofía Gutierrez as a young producer she is not only breaking barriers but also growing her own career in the livestock sector. Sofía lives in Santa Cruz, the biggest department of Bolivia and the most important one in livestock production (around 4,3 million heads). She belongs to one of the base Associations of the Livestock Federation of Santa Cruz (FEGASACRUZ, Federación de Ganaderos de Santa Cruz) which is a client of Agriterra since 2017. Fegasacruz developed a Strategic Plan in which the creation of a Youth Council and the Empowerment of young people and women is very important. In 2019, Agriterra did a Youth Workshop for young livestock farmers, and that is when we met Sofía. After this workshop, they got formal permission to set up a youth department.
Sofía is 25 years old, she studied Agronomic Engineering in Escuela Agrícola Panamericana Zamorano and currently doing a Master in Business Administration. She is working in the livestock sector with her family, which she loves because it is a very dynamic sector where: “every day you face new challenges and you need to look for different solutions and ways of working”. She expects to be the owner of her livestock business in three years from now.
Especially as a woman, she encountered many challenges; First, because she is a young woman in a sector that it's mostly led by men, and second she faces a safety issue because it is more dangerous for a woman to travel by herself to isolated areas and to be alone in the farms. Sofía has had a great example; her family business is led by her grandmother, so she was able to learn a lot from her. She believes in working hard and getting things done, no matter who you are.
A great achievement of the young livestock producers was the creation of the Young Livestock Producers Association. As an Association, they made campaings to help poor people in need during the crisis of COVID-19.
The future is unknown, but Sofía is working hard to be a good representative of this Youth Association and she wants to be the leader of an Institution like FEGASACRUZ in the future.
She would like to work on the synergy between national and international producers, innovating with technology and openings to new markets.
As Agriterra, we support and promote the creation of youth councils and we believe in the empowerment of young people and women for better institutions and better results. We believe in people like Sofía and we are going to work to grow Associations and Cooperatives of young people, for their permanence in the sector and their contribution to its development.