January 2020, Arenal, Costa Rica
Here in Costa Rica, Franz raises bulls on his large "Finca" or farm. These stunning 375 acres overlook Lake Arenal and have a fabulous view of the Arenal Volcano as well as the Lake.
The young torros are purchased by weight, then allowed to graze for a year or more until they are large enough to sell. Rolbert, who runs the Finca, moves the herd from one pasture to another over time, so they always have plenty of grass to graze on. He gets to know each animal as it grows and is the one who determines when they are ready to sell.
They are sold by weight, so the profit comes from the difference in the purchase weight and selling weight. About twice a year, bulls are selected and sent to market to be sold.
It's a big event at the Finca when bulls are sent off to market and the whole family, as well as the workers, are all on hand. Zac, Rolbert's 13 year old son, is right there working with his Dad. This is"on the job" training at it's best!
The chosen bulls are brought in from the pasture and corraled into the barn. When the time comes, they are encouraged up a ramp specially designed to load them onto the open-air truck. Once on the truck, the driver separates the animals into compartments, to keep the animals safe during travel.
The torros waited patiently in the corral for the truck to come but turned rather raucous as it came time to load them on. There was much cajoling from Rolbert and his assisting rancheros, driving this small herd toward the ramp to the truck. I’m not sure whether they knew their imminent fate or were just being contrary, but the bulls resisted vigorously, or just refused to move.
Robert and his rancheros persevered, and eventually, all were loaded and accounted for, paperwork was completed, and they were on their way.
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