A woman of arms to be taken and hardworking like herself. Paulina Gallego Flechoso earned with the effort of a lifetime eWoman Zamora Award 2022 in the category “Rural Woman”. Farmer, breeder and mother, she ran the family business and raised her children alone while her husband worked in Germany. And even today, although his health does not allow him to do physical work, he continues to be the cornerstone of the exploitation that his children have continued.
When she was 26, Paulina’s father died prematurely, and she did not hesitate to take over the land he cultivated. She was the first woman in her town, Flores de Aliste, to ride a tractor, “and to date the only“, adds Paulina Gallego herself. She admits her compatriots were surprised to see her in this position, but Paulina always knew that if she put her mind to it, there’s nothing she can’t do. “I said to my husband: Shut up, men are worth nothing, I gave birth to predators, and what did you do?”
To Pauline there is no task on the ground that does not resist him, even though the cliché says it’s not a woman’s business. “The same cuts you a pig that sacrifices a tip for you, my mother does everything. And when she doesn’t know something, she learns it, it’s been like that all her life,” says her son Eugenio.
Thus, for many years, he plowed the land to sow cereals, in the summer he concentrated on pickles and peppers – two crops very widespread in Aliste at that time –, and he looked after and milked the half-dozen cows owned by the family. At the same time, he raised his two sons, Eugenio and Pablo, with the precious help of his mother. And during the mushroom season, he still took the time to go and earn an extra salary in a packing company in the region.
Shortly after their marriage, her husband emigrated to Germany.a, where he spent most of his working life. “He came twice a yearAt Christmas and in August, she only met my son Eugenio when he was two months old, ”recalls Paulina.
But the entrepreneurship This alistana pushed her to want to do new things and increase the family patrimony. “It was my idea to set up the first feedlot“, he warns. “I sat my husband down to take stock of what he was earning in Germany, what we had left and what we could invest.”
At that time, their children were teenagers and studying in Zamora, “but on weekends I put them on to make the foundations of the feedlot barn with me”. Literally, this family has raised all that it has with its hands, the result of the efforts of each one and the seasoned, assiduous, daring and tireless character of the matriarch,
In 1999, he succeeded in opening the first integrated feedlot in Cobaduand added the care of the pigs to his duties, while he continued the labors of agriculture.
“Pigs give work, but it is good work. I would encourage young people to consider going into animal husbandry, as they would often earn more money than in the positions they get when studying», Defends the farmer from Alistana.
The farm gave enough to reinvest the money. And it’s that a few years later they opened a second feedlot, and another… They are already going for 4,000 heads distributed in several warehouses in Flores de Aliste, and are awaiting permits to open another with 2,000 additional places. “If I live, my children can’t back down, they have to,” Eugenio and Pablo’s mother firmly asserts.
Her husband did not lack the desire to work or to undertake. He took advantage of his years in Germany to start import cars from german countryone of the first to do so in all of Castile and León.
The years passed and Paulina’s cattle herd grew. And she continued to work and work until just over a year ago, when a health problem prevented her from doing so. Feedlots continue to go from strength to strength, now thanks to his two sons. They both studied and tried out what working life in a city is like, but eventually made the decision to return to Flores and dedicate themselves to raising cattle. with his mother, “who was responsible”assures his son Eugenio.
“And I keep sending”she replies, stating that although she can no longer ride the tractor, she can oversee the operation of the farm she led.
And it is that Paulina is clear that in life The most important thing is the “desire” to do things, and that, she has plenty. She believes that if today there are not so many young people who stay in town to work the fields and raise cattle, it is because of the sacrifice that the job requires: “there are more things missing, but there is also a lack of desire to work”, she says convinced.
One of her proudest moments in life is to see how the pig feeder business she raised herself from the ground up continues to grow, and to see how today they continue to feed the subsequent generations of his family, with his two children working together. at the farm.
She spent her life working, from a young age until she retained her physical strength. For this reason, for her, receiving the eWoman Zamora “Rural Woman” award means “a lot of joy, and even more after the health problems I had. What I ask in life is health, I don’t need moneyin his own words.