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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - At the age of seven, rural producer Luciana Dalmagro, now 34, lived closely with the birds. She would spend every weekend on her family's farm in Batatais, a town some 400 kilometers north of the state capital, created four generations ago by her great-grandparents.

At the time, the family planted coffee and sugar. Some chickens would run loose on the property. "I was delighted with the birds," says Luciana. "I used to think about how the egg was formed and I found it fascinating to follow the chickens' growth."

Today, 27 years later, Luciana . . .

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