Nova Colony (Bagé), Brazil
Located near Bagé, the Nova Colony experienced serious difficulties after its founding 1949-1951, particularly crop failures during the early 1950s and large scale emigration to the Curitiba area of Brazil as well as to Canada. Early dependence on wheat as primary crop was replaced by diversified agriculture including cattle and a dairy industry. In 1987 the colony was well established and progressive in cultural, social, economic educational and church affairs. A total of 143 families lived in the colony, with an additional 14 families in the Medici colony, a new settlement nearby.
In 1987 the Mennonite Brethren church had a membership of 324 in German-speaking congregations and two Portuguese-speaking congregations with 140 members. Three missionaries work full-time with four mission stations and six places of witness. A philanthropic community society was founded in 1962 to promote cultural and educational activities, the hospital, and centers for physical and spiritual renewal. The society was also responsible for emergency assistance and other mutual aid as needed, and it supported a museum and a library. In 1987 the Menno Simons school had 188 pupils enrolled in grades kindergarten-eight.
Economic life centered in the cooperative founded in 1959, which included farmers in the surrounding area. It had a membership of 1,700 in 1987. Up to 100,000 liters of milk could be produced daily. A pasteurization plant located in Bagé handled 50,000 liters. In 1986 9,700 metric tons (10,670 U.S. tons) of wheat, 9,000 tons of rice, 6,600 tons of sorghum, and 700 tons of other grain were produced. The services of veterinarians, agriculturists, and other specialized personnel were arranged through the cooperative. The total 1986 volume was 11 million dollars (U.S.). At government request the cooperative also assisted in the development of a new colony of some 125 Indian families which had been displaced from a reservation and were being relocated near the colony on a tract of ca. 2,500 hectares (6,000 acres).
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 640. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Pauls, Peter, Jr. "Nova Colony (Bagé), Brazil." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 18 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/N73.html.
APA style: Pauls, Peter, Jr. (1987). Nova Colony (Bagé), Brazil. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/N73.html.