Bachelor of Pharmacy with all the knowledge about farm management, rural development etc. has been acquired over the years. He is self-taught.
The farm is a dehesa of oaks, grass and scrubland. It is managed by Mª Jesús Gualda, an ex-employee, dedicated exclusively to cattle breeding and the management of the rural hotel installed there. It took advantage of the old housing of the foremen that was in its place and it was rehabilitated with the respect of its original aesthetics, to make a high quality rural accommodation with a restaurant and room service. It offers special service that is to live the world of the bull from within, participate in daily tasks, and understand them.
2. Promoter profile
3. Farm Profile
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The farm is a pasture of 350 ha of holm oaks, grass, and scrub, where no work is carried out, it is not cultivated, it is not fertilized or used for phytosanitary purposes. It has therefore an ecological management. If you act on, it would improve the performance, but other plant species would appear and the flora would change. Cattle feed on grass that grows naturally. On the farm are exclusively raised fighting cattle and horses. Since the mid-nineteenth century successive generations of the same family have been dedicated to the breeding of the brave bull. In the dehesa there is also a rural hotel and restaurant. The meat of fight has denomination of origin and sells very well.
4. Multifunctional/sustainable farming and European Agricultural Landscapes (EAL)
The El Añadío farm is located in the municipality of Vilches, province of Jaén, and due to its great extension it is surrounded by different natural parks such as Cazorla, Segura de la Sierra, Sierra Mágina, Sierra de Andújar, and Despeñaperros. From the farm you can contemplate these wonderful views, since it is located in the high part of the mountain. This unique landscape being idyllic and relaxing for many visitors greatly enhances the tourist activity. The landscape of the dehesa is therefore its greatest value. In the dehesa it is not necessary to carry out any agricultural activity. The dehesa is perfectly adapted to the needs of the management of this type of livestock, maintaining an adequate stocking density. Fighting cattle has a very low stocking rate of 1 ha per head and that is totally sustainable. Apart from the fight, the meat of this livestock is sold and is of very good quality. It has a designation of origin "Bovino de Lidia" and is registered in the Fedelidia program (Federation of associations of the autochthonous race of Lydia). The problem with pruning the trees appeared to the rancher. This process is very complicated because they, on the part of administration, demanded to create a plan against fires (creation of several firewalls), at the time when the cattle ate all the grass on the farm. Without this it was not possible to prune the trees, so he gave up until the project "Life Iberlince", which offered to do the necessary pruning in exchange for practices of reintroduction of the lynx in his farm, arose.
• Do not hesitate to ask for advice whenever it is necessary to be able to carry out the bureaucratic procedures correctly, and thus avoid administrative sanctions due to ignorance of the regulations.
• Apply for grants , incentives or any type of subsidy, either from the European Union or from local development groups whenever it is possible. When you start an activity you need an important economic investment and it is important to have economic resources.
5. Considerations, skills/competences involved and queries/questions
Mª Jesús worked as an official, but she got into early retirement to dedicate herself to the farm, cattle breeding, and to different activities that were carried out there. Her son is the representative of the livestock, but she is still the owner and is very involved in all the issues. It belongs to the fifth generation that manages cattle breeding. The rural hotel was inaugurated 10 years ago, but at the beginning, and for doing some filming, stayed only family and friends. They started to work in a more professional way about 8 years ago. The hotel belongs from the first moment to a quality club of rural hotels, called Rusticae. It offers the clients the opportunity to participate in the day-to-day activities of the bull's world. It was possible thanks to his perseverance, and it also helped to receive a grant through FEDER funds. As for cattle breeding, he did not receive any kind of help. Bureaucracy is among its concerns. Any entrepreneur in Spain faces enormous demands, a large number of requirements, and procedures. The administration deals with the activities like this of smaller volume, as if it was a large hotel chain, or a cattle breeding of thousands of cattle, which it is not, it is something much more familiar. All this generates many expenses that are difficult to cover. Another concern is the risk of livestock contagion by animals such as wild boar, deer, etc., which can transmit tuberculosis with the consequent sacrifice of the cattle and the high cost that this entails. The anti-bullfighting worries him less than everything mentioned the above, although bullfighting is a subject that always generates great controversy and social debate. There is even a legislative tendency, local and regional, against the bullfighting activity. As something to emphasize, the meat of fight has denomination of origin "Bovine of Lydia" and is inscribed in "Fedelidia" (Federation of Associations of Autochthonous Race of Lydia).
Regarding livestock, Mª Jesús does not have specific training and everything that she learned was self-taught. Her ancestors belonged to an important cattle ranch of brave bulls and thanks to her grandfather she became a good enthusiast and nowadays she is a big cattle rancher and businesswoman. She thinks that to carry out an activity like yours, in which cattle and rural tourism intervene, it is essential to train before starting, because it is not something that is learned in a few months. The issue of livestock has lived in her since childhood, and therefore she did not need a specific training, except for some conferences and courses related to the world of bulls, marketing, disease prevention, fire prevention in the dehesa, etc. She learned that you do not have to act on the dehesa, you do not have to do anything that modifies the vegetation or the land. Therefore, it carries out an ecological management. The roots of the natural grass hold the land and thus the runoff is avoided. The year when the stone constructions that are on the farm were built is unknown. You can even see traces of Roman roads at some parts. Earlier, the walls were built to prevent the landslide or to separate the cattle and everything was done in a traditional way with the stone that provided the same soil, very rich in limestone and slates. Now, these stone constructions are conserved. There are even corrals of the same material. In relation to the hospitality industry, Mª Jesús was from the beginning aware of that her rural accommodation needed to have a good status on the internet to provide greater dissemination and visibility. This is the reason why he wanted to belong to the rural accommodation network with the charm, "Rusticae", apart from being present in all social networks. Rusticae is an exclusive club where you receive continuous training through courses, talks, etc. If you have to ask any questions or simply need advice on any subject related to accommodation, request it and resolve it. Being a part of this club has provided so much visibility that it receives clients from all over the world.
• Do you think that this multifunctional activity could be carried out in a landscape other than dehesa?
• If yes, what type of landscape do you think can be more similar to dehesa according to the type of management, cultivation, climate, etc.?