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Farming Insider: Carla Rossato, José Rossato & Fábio Roberto
About Carla Sanches Rossato, José Rossato und Fábio Roberto
Family-run farm where three generations work together.
The family business “Rossato & Filhas” encompasses five plots of land, the first of which was bought by company founder José in 1977. Since then, the family has focused on growing soybeans in summer, corn in winter, and raising cattle. Under José’s daughter Carla, the total area of the farm has grown to over 1,200 hectares. Together with her nephew Fábio, Carla is adapting the business, using precision farming and modern technology to meet the challenges of the future.
Location: Sertanópolis, State of Paraná, Brazil
Crops cultivated: soy, corn
Special features: Carla Sanches Rossato is an influential voice in Brazilian agriculture. In 2019 she won the Agro Women Award in the category of large-scale land ownership, becoming an ambassador for it the following year. On Instagram, the qualified veterinarian has 15,000 followers.
I am so proud that with farming, my family continues something I love to this day.
Carla and José, quite often when we ask farmers about their passion for their work, they tell us with conviction that they have never had any doubts since childhood about wanting to take up the profession. How do you stand on that?
Carla: Certainly, farming is my life. I never had any doubts. I see that everyone reaches stages in their life where they have doubts, but I never felt like that. I never wanted to be anything but a farmer.”
José: Ever since I was a child, I knew that one day I would be a farmer. From the moment I got into farming, I never thought of doing anything else. Thank God I did – and my daughter Carla manages almost 100 % of the family farm with our support.
Was that a logical step for you when you look back over your career, Carla?
Carla: Yes, it was natural for me to take over because I always supported my parents in their business. I always say that I learned to walk by holding on to the hem of my father’s trousers. Now, I manage the family business “Rossato & Filhas”. I graduated in 1999, and in 2000 I started working on the farm on a daily basis, with my father in charge for another five or six years.
Then gradually the roles started to reverse automatically, and now my parents are the ones who support me at work.
Did this generational shift take place without any problems for you?
Carla: The biggest difficulty I had with the generational shift was with my father, because of the changes it led to. Here I learned that we as a younger generation can’t just come in and impose our ideas. As successors, we come along and talk to the older people. We need to find a way to show them our visions.
And what challenges will you face in the future?
Carla: For us, the challenge in farming is to prepare and build a process of succession. Thank goodness I already have my nephew Fabio Roberto today, who works passionately and willingly in the family business. I try to pass on to him the values that my parents gave me back then.
Fabio, the transformation of farms into modern agricultural enterprises is an ongoing process. How do you view this change?
Fábio: Since my work here on the farm is very much related to technology, I realize that agriculture is moving faster every day. We cannot afford to make a mistake and we always need to keep up with modern technology.
Carla: It is so important that we are really up to date and that we don’t get too comfortable in our current position. Because in the future, the task of our industry will be to produce ever more with less and thus to produce as sustainably as possible.
Three different generations, three different perspectives on agriculture. Despite certain hardships and challenges in your job, what are you proud of?
Fábio: The turning point in my life was when my wife and I had our first child. Suddenly, I started to not only act in the here and now, but to do things with the future in mind. If there is a chance for my children to be here while I work, plant, and harvest, I bring them with me. This way, they can learn to like something from an early age – just as I was able to with my father.
José: I am so proud to have a family like mine – and that with farming, they continue something I love to this day.
Carla: I am very grateful for the fact that the business raised me, strengthened me and made me who I am today.
Paving the way. For a fruitful tomorrow.
Farm life is often characterized by family cohesion and traditions that have grown over decades. Around the world, many generations live and work on farms under one roof, and at some point the question of farm succession comes up. Our new Farmer Portraits focus on this generational change that many farmers are facing. Young and old alike - we visited farmers on their farms to have them tell us about their stories, their challenges and their hopes.