Meet the new young dairy farmers of Visayas

Written by: Farina S. Dy

Thomas Gerard Serafica of Ormoc City, and Kurt Bayliss Razo of Ubay, Bohol are the newest dairy farmers of the Visayas region. Both are in their late twenties and have turned their backs on many other opportunities just to go into dairy farming as their main source of livelihood.

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Thomas Serafica, or Jet as he is known to friends, graduated in 2012 with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from the University of the San Carlos. He also took up Culinary Arts at the American International and Culinary Institute and gained a National Certificate II in Slaughterhouse Operations. Jet wanted to work abroad, following his on-the-job training in Marriot Ocean Watch in South Carolina, where he was paid $11 an hour. However, typhoon Yolanda turned his plans upside down.

As he actually loves horses and doesn’t like office work that much, he decided to extend his love to dairy cows. After inquiring at the National Dairy Authority (NDA), he started with four milking cows and plans to add six more. He has already planted three hectares of forage area and manages to harvest 6-7 liters per cow. Jet now processes and markets his own milk and recently started processing cheese.

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His products are always in demand among his wide network of friends and former classmates.

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Another young farmer is Kurt Bayliss Razo, from Ubay, Bohol. Kurt used to work in the local government unit of Ubay. After hearing about the dairy project of the NDA, Kurt decided to leave his office work and go full time into dairy farming. He now has five dairy cows on the milk line producing 8 liters a day. Having a very entrepreneurial spirit, Kurt also decided to process and market his own milk, as duly assisted by the NDA.

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Jet Serafica and Kurt Bayliss Raso

While these young men have gone ahead by leaps and bounds, there is still so much to do for them; so much to improve and learn. As the NDA orients hundreds of potential farmers year after year, the critical ingredient for some people, as entrepreneur Nolan Bushnell shares, is the initiative to really get up and do something. There may be a lot of people who have plans and ideas, but there are a few who decide to do something about them now. Jet and Kurt are reminders that the true entrepreneurs are doers, not dreamers.