AgAir Update Brazil, AgAir Update’s sister publication published exclusively in Brazil and in Portuguese, welcomes Ernesto Franzen (known in aviation circles as Franzen) to the team as our South American Editor. Ernesto started flying ag in 1991, and in 1995 met Bill Lavender during a vacation trip to the US. They became friends and, with Ernesto’s guidance, came up with the idea of starting a Latin American edition of AgAir Update, which until then was printed almost entirely in English. AgAir Update Latinoamerica started printing part in Spanish and part in Portuguese. Ernesto wrote articles for the publication and even had an editorial column. But in the early 2000s, political issues in his state – Rio Grande do Sul – turned the agricultural environment less favorable for ag aviation. The operation Ernesto had flown for five seasons had to downsize,e and being the junior pilot, he had to leave. Like many pilots from Rio Grande do Sul at the time, Ernesto went north to Mato Grosso to look for new opportunities. However, his family couldn’t move with him, and the long season away from his loved ones proved too hard to endure. To stay close to his family, Ernesto opted to start a new career in law enforcement; he joined the Brazilian Federal Highway Patrol. The Brazilian public service doesn’t allow you to have a side job, so Ernesto had to quit AgAir Update.
Now, after 20 years of service, Ernesto retired from the patrol and, becoming a civilian again, was invited to come back to AgAir Update, as he remained friends with Bill after all these years. Ernesto will be headlining articles and editing the Portuguese content.
“In my many trips to the US to visit with Bill and other friends, I learned many American expressions. One of my favorites is ‘You have some large shoes to fill”, That’s how I feel. It is quite a challenge, and the only way I’ll be able to do it is the same way Bill did it: with the reader’s help.”