Friday, July 29, 2016

2016 Argentina and Brazil Beef Tour

Our new International Business Specialist, Kasey Haars, had only been on the job for a couple of weeks when we sent her along on the Argentina and Brazil beef tour. She learned a lot, made some new connections and filed this report.

I had the opportunity to assist with the Cooperative Resources International (CRI) Argentina and Brazil beef tour. This tour began in Kansas City, Missouri, weaved through Kansas, Iowa, and South Dakota and ended in North Dakota. Fifty individuals from all areas of the cattle industry in both countries attended, all coming together to learn about a common interest. 

The first tour began by heading to Tiffany Cattle Company. This 10,000 head stock yard customizes in custom feeding cattle. This family-run operation gave us the opportunity to see how a large stock yard with many employees is run. 

Rations and the importance of each ingredient was also discussed in detail at Tiffany Cattle Company. 
At our second stop, Badger Creek Cattle in Emporia, Kansas, tour participants viewed several bulls.
The next day was spent at Mushrush Red Angus in Strong City, Kansas. Daniel Mushrush was able to explain to the group in Spanish (much to the group's delight) that he and his father run the operation together. There are currently four generations of  the Mushrush family on the farm, and they plan for it to stay family owned and operated.
Tour participants were eager to watch as a few animals were run through the chute.
After a free day in Manhattan, Kansas, Monday was spent at Kansas State University. There we were able to see their pastures containing native grasses, view bulls and listen to presentations. 
The day's presentations covered a department overview, what’s new in beef genetics, evaluating cattle feet and legs, and a review of their embryo transfer and A.I. breeding program. 
Cattle viewing is always a highlight of these tours.
On Tuesday we visited Janssen Angus in Earlham, Iowa. We were able to tour this farm's beautiful pastures, learn about their grazing practices and view bulls used in Argentine breeding programs.
Cow and calves at Janssen Angus
We departed bright and early on Wednesday in route to Mohnen Angus in White Lake, South Dakota where we were again treated to pasture walks containing great looking bulls and Genex progeny.  
Tours allow participants to get up close looks at bulls and progeny.
Thursday we began our journey in North Dakota by visiting Ellingson Angus in Anthony, North Dakota, where we heard about how the Ellingson family grew their ranch to what it is today. 
Many times tour participants get to meet not only the ranch's cattle, but their family as well.
After lunch we headed over to Strommen Ranch in Fort Rice, North Dakota. At Strommen Ranch we learned how the family grew the ranch from a bull and cow they received as a wedding present. This stop showed the Argentines and Brazilians how they use rotational grazing for as many months of the year as possible. 
Tour participants also got to look at cows and calves while at the Strommen Ranch.
Our final stop of the trip was at Schaff Angus Valley. We spent the stop looking at Genex bulls, as well as understading how a large operation successfully manages their herd. 
Michael Sleeper, CRI AVP of International Marketing translates for the group.

The group and I learned a great deal about beef cattle management, enjoyed a lot a fabulous U.S. steak, and walked away from the tour with a better understanding of the CRI and Genex genetic philosophy.