Mr. José A. Noriega Rosado, a dairy rancher in San Sebastián, has been doing business with Puerto Rico Farm Credit since 2002. By that time he was already familiar with our name, as he learned the ropes of the dairy industry with his grandfather Luis Rosado, who talked to him about our Association.
After years of working for his grandfather, in 2002 they refinanced the farm together as partners in order to revamp the dairy operation with financial support from PRFC. In 2003, Mr. Noriega decided to scale up the business, applying for financing that allowed him to buy equipment and livestock. Production went from 37,689 to 45,689 quarts. Later, in 2007, he obtained a credit extension from PRFC for improvements to his family home.
In 2008, Mr. Noriega had a difficult year. He was diagnosed with cancer, but that did not stop him in his effort to take the farm to the next level. PRFC was by his side, and Mr. Noriega was able to resume his role in the business as a cancer survivor.
In 2013, Mr. Noriega's grandfather opted for retirement. He sold his part of the business to his grandson, who now owns the ranch with his wife Ivette Milagros, who is in charge of bookkeeping and other administrative tasks. Noriega's son Gimel José is very active in the business. He's learning the ropes in the field as Mr. Noriega did years ago. Their ranch is now called Pura Brisa, Inc.
For over a decade, Mr. Noriega has kept his ranch as one of the most productive in the region with a yield of 22 liters per cow that surpasses the industry average. He is a prudent and yet visionary entrepreneur. "What I like about Puerto Rico Farm Credit is that they talk with real numbers. They tell me how far I can reach. I don't like to kid myself with numbers," he says of his business approach, which has helped him weather the industry's difficult times.
As for innovation and vision, Mr. Noriega is making sure his son Gimel José brings in the newest technology to the operation. "We go together to conventions and educational events. He is learning about breeding and how to use technology to have the healthiest and most productive cows, Mr. Noriega adds. Truth be told, Mr. Noriega is also an expert in the Jersey breed and has been able to improve his livestock in terms of how it adapts to climate and topography. He explains that cows are very sensitive to stressors like heat and storms, so at Pura Brisa they tend to the cattle's needs.
Using cameras to monitor the milking process, learning the latest artificial insemination techniques and mixing natural ingredients into feed are just some examples of innovations available at Pura Brisa.
That's where the future is at, says Mr. Noriega as they continue to look into technological advances that will help them improve their livestock, like using pedometer technology to check on cows at the field. "In the process, we always consult with PRFC. When I ask for advice, they are there for me. There's always an answer. That is something I value," says Mr. Noriega.
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