South Dakota connection | TSLN.com

South Dakota connection

Alaina Mousel, Editor

Photo by Alaina MouselSimon Kinnard, CREA group member; Kevin Hoff of Hoff Farms, Inc., Madison, SD; and Mariano Sobre, president of the CREA group, visit Tuesday, Aug. 3.

A group of 21 Argentines from the CREA began a 15-day U.S. tour by spending Monday and Tuesday touring South Dakota feedlots. CREA, which in Spanish reads Consorcios Regionales Experimentacion Agricola (Regional Consortium of Agricultural Experimentation), is a farming club that acts more like an intense version of a marketing club. Argentina is a Spanish speaking country so SDSU Spanish instructor Kevin Schnaser served as an interpreter for the group.

The CREA organization is comprised of more than 200, 12-member groups throughout Argentina. Members meet each month at a group member’s farm, are involved in similar enterprises and live within a 60-70 kilometers (37-43 miles) radius.

The goal of the organization is transparent information sharing; if something failed for one group member, that failure is shared and analyzed with the group in order to better the entire group. The same goes for successes. It’s not uncommon for members to divulge records to work out the numbers.

“It’s a completely apolitical organization, and no lobbying,” said Simon Kinnard, CREA group member from Baron, LaPampa. “It’s purely technical. We want to grow and learn from each other.”

Kinnard went on to explain that half of the CREA group touring South Dakota are involved in cattle feeding, which is why they sought out South Dakota feedlots. They chose South Dakota because it’s very comparable to Argentina in soil classification and rainfall. Kinnard explained that where he lives receives about 700-750 millimeters of rain each year, the equivalent to 27-29 inches of rain. What surprised him the most about South Dakota was the months of snow and continual frost, which is not common in Argentina.

William Randall of General Pico, LaPampa stated “This tour has really opened our eyes to the precision and dedication needed to efficiently feed cattle.” Randall went on to say, “Traditionally, all cattle in Argentina have been finished on grass, but with the price of soy, many ranchers are converting their pastures to crop ground and are moving cattle into lots to finish them on a concentrate ration, similar to the U.S.”

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CREA groups have traveled internationally to South Africa and Australia. Kinnard’s group has toured Latin America countries Chile, Uruguay and Brazil, but said that this was their first trip to the U.S.

“We’re a very close group, we’ve been (meeting) for 45 years,” Kinnard said. “It’s not always the same group of people, but at least half of the members are from the same families that started it.”

South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension range livestock specialist Eric Mousel was responsible for organizing CREA’s two-day South Dakota tour with assistance from Schnaser. Mousel may seem an unlikely candidate for organizing feedlot visits, but he and Schnaser have an Argentina connection. For three years Mousel has arranged and traveled with groups of SDSU students to Argentina and Schnaser has served as an interpreter for two years. During the Argentina tours, SDSU students have visited several CREA-member operations. Student interest in the Argentina travel class has far exceeded class size, Mousel said, opting to limit it to about 20 students each year.

On Monday, CREA visited Redstone Feeders in De Smet, SD; Reisch Farms in Howard, SD; and Bernard Donahue’s feedlot in Fedora, SD. Over dinner, SDSU extension meats specialist Keith Underwood discussed future trends of the beef consumer, followed by John Haverhals of Hudson, SD, discussing his feedlot operation. On Tuesday the group began on SDSU’s campus with a beef industry outlook given by SDSU extension economist Marty Beutler. SDSU ruminant nutritionist Robbi Pritchard talked about practical matters in beef feedlot management and toured the group through the SDSU Ruminant Nutrition Facility. After lunch the group toured Warkenthien Farms in Clark, SD and concluded their South Dakota stay at Hoff Farms in Madison, SD.

The two-day South Dakota tour marked the beginning of a nearly 15-day journey for the CREA group. Other tour stops include the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, Monsanto, John Deere in Moline, IL, followed by sight-seeing in Chicago and New York.

A group of 21 Argentines from the CREA began a 15-day U.S. tour by spending Monday and Tuesday touring South Dakota feedlots. CREA, which in Spanish reads Consorcios Regionales Experimentacion Agricola (Regional Consortium of Agricultural Experimentation), is a farming club that acts more like an intense version of a marketing club. Argentina is a Spanish speaking country so SDSU Spanish instructor Kevin Schnaser served as an interpreter for the group.

The CREA organization is comprised of more than 200, 12-member groups throughout Argentina. Members meet each month at a group member’s farm, are involved in similar enterprises and live within a 60-70 kilometers (37-43 miles) radius.

The goal of the organization is transparent information sharing; if something failed for one group member, that failure is shared and analyzed with the group in order to better the entire group. The same goes for successes. It’s not uncommon for members to divulge records to work out the numbers.

“It’s a completely apolitical organization, and no lobbying,” said Simon Kinnard, CREA group member from Baron, LaPampa. “It’s purely technical. We want to grow and learn from each other.”

Kinnard went on to explain that half of the CREA group touring South Dakota are involved in cattle feeding, which is why they sought out South Dakota feedlots. They chose South Dakota because it’s very comparable to Argentina in soil classification and rainfall. Kinnard explained that where he lives receives about 700-750 millimeters of rain each year, the equivalent to 27-29 inches of rain. What surprised him the most about South Dakota was the months of snow and continual frost, which is not common in Argentina.

William Randall of General Pico, LaPampa stated “This tour has really opened our eyes to the precision and dedication needed to efficiently feed cattle.” Randall went on to say, “Traditionally, all cattle in Argentina have been finished on grass, but with the price of soy, many ranchers are converting their pastures to crop ground and are moving cattle into lots to finish them on a concentrate ration, similar to the U.S.”

CREA groups have traveled internationally to South Africa and Australia. Kinnard’s group has toured Latin America countries Chile, Uruguay and Brazil, but said that this was their first trip to the U.S.

“We’re a very close group, we’ve been (meeting) for 45 years,” Kinnard said. “It’s not always the same group of people, but at least half of the members are from the same families that started it.”

South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension range livestock specialist Eric Mousel was responsible for organizing CREA’s two-day South Dakota tour with assistance from Schnaser. Mousel may seem an unlikely candidate for organizing feedlot visits, but he and Schnaser have an Argentina connection. For three years Mousel has arranged and traveled with groups of SDSU students to Argentina and Schnaser has served as an interpreter for two years. During the Argentina tours, SDSU students have visited several CREA-member operations. Student interest in the Argentina travel class has far exceeded class size, Mousel said, opting to limit it to about 20 students each year.

On Monday, CREA visited Redstone Feeders in De Smet, SD; Reisch Farms in Howard, SD; and Bernard Donahue’s feedlot in Fedora, SD. Over dinner, SDSU extension meats specialist Keith Underwood discussed future trends of the beef consumer, followed by John Haverhals of Hudson, SD, discussing his feedlot operation. On Tuesday the group began on SDSU’s campus with a beef industry outlook given by SDSU extension economist Marty Beutler. SDSU ruminant nutritionist Robbi Pritchard talked about practical matters in beef feedlot management and toured the group through the SDSU Ruminant Nutrition Facility. After lunch the group toured Warkenthien Farms in Clark, SD and concluded their South Dakota stay at Hoff Farms in Madison, SD.

The two-day South Dakota tour marked the beginning of a nearly 15-day journey for the CREA group. Other tour stops include the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, Monsanto, John Deere in Moline, IL, followed by sight-seeing in Chicago and New York.

A group of 21 Argentines from the CREA began a 15-day U.S. tour by spending Monday and Tuesday touring South Dakota feedlots. CREA, which in Spanish reads Consorcios Regionales Experimentacion Agricola (Regional Consortium of Agricultural Experimentation), is a farming club that acts more like an intense version of a marketing club. Argentina is a Spanish speaking country so SDSU Spanish instructor Kevin Schnaser served as an interpreter for the group.

The CREA organization is comprised of more than 200, 12-member groups throughout Argentina. Members meet each month at a group member’s farm, are involved in similar enterprises and live within a 60-70 kilometers (37-43 miles) radius.

The goal of the organization is transparent information sharing; if something failed for one group member, that failure is shared and analyzed with the group in order to better the entire group. The same goes for successes. It’s not uncommon for members to divulge records to work out the numbers.

“It’s a completely apolitical organization, and no lobbying,” said Simon Kinnard, CREA group member from Baron, LaPampa. “It’s purely technical. We want to grow and learn from each other.”

Kinnard went on to explain that half of the CREA group touring South Dakota are involved in cattle feeding, which is why they sought out South Dakota feedlots. They chose South Dakota because it’s very comparable to Argentina in soil classification and rainfall. Kinnard explained that where he lives receives about 700-750 millimeters of rain each year, the equivalent to 27-29 inches of rain. What surprised him the most about South Dakota was the months of snow and continual frost, which is not common in Argentina.

William Randall of General Pico, LaPampa stated “This tour has really opened our eyes to the precision and dedication needed to efficiently feed cattle.” Randall went on to say, “Traditionally, all cattle in Argentina have been finished on grass, but with the price of soy, many ranchers are converting their pastures to crop ground and are moving cattle into lots to finish them on a concentrate ration, similar to the U.S.”

CREA groups have traveled internationally to South Africa and Australia. Kinnard’s group has toured Latin America countries Chile, Uruguay and Brazil, but said that this was their first trip to the U.S.

“We’re a very close group, we’ve been (meeting) for 45 years,” Kinnard said. “It’s not always the same group of people, but at least half of the members are from the same families that started it.”

South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension range livestock specialist Eric Mousel was responsible for organizing CREA’s two-day South Dakota tour with assistance from Schnaser. Mousel may seem an unlikely candidate for organizing feedlot visits, but he and Schnaser have an Argentina connection. For three years Mousel has arranged and traveled with groups of SDSU students to Argentina and Schnaser has served as an interpreter for two years. During the Argentina tours, SDSU students have visited several CREA-member operations. Student interest in the Argentina travel class has far exceeded class size, Mousel said, opting to limit it to about 20 students each year.

On Monday, CREA visited Redstone Feeders in De Smet, SD; Reisch Farms in Howard, SD; and Bernard Donahue’s feedlot in Fedora, SD. Over dinner, SDSU extension meats specialist Keith Underwood discussed future trends of the beef consumer, followed by John Haverhals of Hudson, SD, discussing his feedlot operation. On Tuesday the group began on SDSU’s campus with a beef industry outlook given by SDSU extension economist Marty Beutler. SDSU ruminant nutritionist Robbi Pritchard talked about practical matters in beef feedlot management and toured the group through the SDSU Ruminant Nutrition Facility. After lunch the group toured Warkenthien Farms in Clark, SD and concluded their South Dakota stay at Hoff Farms in Madison, SD.

The two-day South Dakota tour marked the beginning of a nearly 15-day journey for the CREA group. Other tour stops include the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, Monsanto, John Deere in Moline, IL, followed by sight-seeing in Chicago and New York.

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