Filadelfia Experimental Farm (Filadelfia, Boquerón Department, Paraguay)
The Filadelfia Experimental Farm, five miles north of the town of Filadelfia, the capital of the Fernheim Colony, Paraguay, was established in August 1946 as a result of the joint efforts of the Mennonite Central Committee and the Fernheim Colony. Menno Klassen from Gretna, Manitoba, was sent to Paraguay to establish this work. Significant progress was made by the 1950s. The buildings erected included a large ranch-style house, a combination laboratory, office, workshop, and seed storage building. In 1952 there were five full-time workers engaged on the farm. The chief objectives were experimentation with seeds and soils, production of seeds of grasses, vegetables, and farm crops, and nursery stock, the setting up of demonstration units, and a general program of agricultural extension and information service. Since agriculture had not been carried on in the Chaco prior to the coming of the Mennonites nothing was known as to the best types of crops to grow, the long-time characteristics of the growing season, the rainfall, and the general climatic conditions. Chaco farmers had neither time nor money to carry on the experimentation needed.
The experimental farm made valuable contributions to farming in the area by growing seedlings so that farmers could produce their own fuel and timber supply. Experiments were aksi carried on with green manure crops which were needed to fertilize depleted soils. By means of contact with the United States Government personnel in Paraguay (STICA) helpful information was secured about crops, trees, and seeds best adapted to the Paraguayan climate. Assistance was also received in fighting pests that damaged crops. Pamphlets were often translated into German for the colonists' use. The experimental farm was at first not enthusiastically supported by the colonists but it proved its worth and farmers recognized how valuable an aid it was to intelligent farming and successful colonization.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 329. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Fretz, J. Winfield. "Filadelfia Experimental Farm (Filadelfia, Boquerón Department, Paraguay)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/filadelfia_experimental_farm_filadelfia_boqueron.
APA style: Fretz, J. Winfield. (1956). Filadelfia Experimental Farm (Filadelfia, Boquerón Department, Paraguay). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/filadelfia_experimental_farm_filadelfia_boqueron.