They dared to be dif­fer­ent and won

Agriculture - - Contents -

IN OUR COV­ER­AGE of agri­cul­ture, we some­times come across un­usual strate­gies that can make their pro­po­nents big win­ners. In Tai­wan, for in­stance, the leisure farm that comes to mind is the Fly­ing Cow Ranch in the county of Miaoli.

The name alone is very in­trigu­ing be­cause you and I know that cows don’t fly un­less they are loaded in a plane. We had vis­ited this farm at least three times and we asked the founder how he came to name his farm the way he did.

Well, he just ges­tic­u­lated and said he just wanted to ap­pear dif­fer­ent. Even the con­crete life­size fig­ure of the Hol­stein Friesian cow was colored red and white in­stead of the blue and white coat of the dairy breed.

The meals served at Fly­ing Cow are also unique. In Shabu-shabu or hot­pot, for in­stance, the meat and veg­eta­bles are cooked in fresh milk in­stead of wa­ter. And the pud­ding does not come bare in a small saucer. It is in the form of a small ball in an elas­tic cas­ing. By prick­ing it with a tooth­pick, it bursts open. There are so many other unique recre­ational DIY or do-it-your­self ac­tiv­i­ties that at­tract a lot of vis­i­tors. Fly­ing Cow is one of the most pop­u­lar leisure farm des­ti­na­tions in Tai­wan to­day, draw­ing some 500,000 tourists a year.

IN THE PHILIP­PINES – About 20 years ago, many peo­ple, in­clud­ing us, thought “Harbest” in Harbest Agribusi­ness Cor­po­ra­tion was a ty­po­graph­i­cal er­ror. The com­pany was started by a La Salle grad­u­ate who con­fessed he did not know much about agri­cul­ture in the be­gin­ning.

Be­cause Toto Barcelona knew how to speak Chi­nese, he was asked to guide a group of Ne­gros big time farm­ers in Tai­wan where he pre­vi­ously worked for sev­eral years. The group vis­ited KnownYou Seed in Kaoh­si­ung and that’s how he met the pres­i­dent of the com­pany. The seed com­pany chief sug­gested to Toto that he sell hy­brid seeds of veg­eta­bles and other high-value crops in the Philip­pines.

Although re­luc­tant to ac­cept the propo­si­tion, Toto fi­nally ac­ceded and put up Harbest Agribusi­ness. When asked why the “mis­spelling”, he an­swered that no one would no­tice if he

Look, Ma! The cow is fly­ing!

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