South Dakota State University students travel to Argentina in 2011 study abroad trip | TSLN.com

South Dakota State University students travel to Argentina in 2011 study abroad trip

Josh Kitzan

On Jan. 2, 2011, 17 South Dakota State University (SDSU) students and two advisors embarked on a two-week trip to Argentina. Travel consisted of approximately 23 hour of layover time, 26 hours of flight time and security checks, and hours upon hours on a tour bus. The purpose of the trip was to expose students to Argentina’s agriculture, as well as South American culture.

Departing South Dakota in -10° F. weather, the humid 90° F. temperatures of Buenos Aires were welcomed by all. Students spent two days in Argentina’s capital city, testing their ability to brush their teeth using bottled water; ordering food and beverage in Spanish; and navigating their way across one of the world’s widest streets (16 lanes). To say the least, everyone experienced a bit of culture shock.

On their second day in Buenos Aires, students toured the Liniers de Mercado auction market. The auction yard was located within the city and spanned well over 70 acres. On the day of their visit, approximately 6,000 head of cattle sold within a four-hour time frame. Students then traveled to the headquarters of CREA, a nonprofit consulting firm for farmers and ranchers.

Students traveled by tour bus to Santa Rosa, LaPampa, touring the Fossati brothers’ ranch in the middle of the country. One student commented, “If I didn’t know any better, I would think I was on a ranch in South Dakota… only with more grass that is.” Management practices utilized by the Fossati operation were similar to ranches in the Midwest with a few exceptions: Cattle were mainly of British breeding, with the ultimate goal of operating a straight Angus herd. Crops such as corn or sorghum were planted ahead of the two-month dry season for grazing purposes. Castration was done at birth, and branding was done at weaning. Cattle frame sizes were smaller than cattle in the U.S. In visiting with the students, the Fossatis recognized the need to increase the size of their cattle to produce more pounds of beef with fewer numbers of livestock.

On the fifth day of their trip, the group visited Parque Luro, a natural vegetation and wildlife preserve. Wildlife such as parrots, red deer and the native Calden tree were some of the observed scenery.

Day six was spent touring a native Canadian’s farm in Southern La Pampa. William Randall has farmed in Argentina for 30 years; students enjoyed his unique accent. Corn, soybeans and sunflowers were the predominate crops grown, along with his herd of F2-generation Brahman-Hereford crossed cattle.

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The following day, students toured more farming operations and got their first look at a feedlot that cost little to nothing to build. Because operating capital in Argentina is very hard to come by, low-cost facilities are common. Students also toured a 400-head dairy operation where Holstein cows grazed alfalfa fields before being brought by horseback twice a day for milking.

During the tour of a rotational grazing operation, students observed 300-pound steers grazing alfalfa fields. One of the tools implemented to do this was a Rumensin® capsule administered orally to prevent bloat.

During their final night in Santa Rosa, the group was treated to a traditional Gaucho show. There, students were given the opportunity to ride horses and participate in some of the traditional games while on horseback. A whole lamb was roasted on an open fire with song and dance during and after supper.

The next stop on the group’s itinerary was Rosario. Here students toured a John Deere dealership, and were happy to see modern equipment they were familiar with. A tour of the Rosario Board of Trade took place the following morning. The Rosario Board of Trade is much like the Chicago Board of Trade in which grain and livestock are bid upon and prices are set. Following the Board of Trade tour, student returned to Buenos Aires, attending a Sabor Tango, where tango and native dances were performed.

On day 13 students boarded a ferry to spend a day in Colonia, Uruguay. While in Uruguay, everyone was able to tour the coastal city. Some students rented scooters, go carts and event a golf cart to travel the entire city. Others decided to take in the beautiful warm weather on the beach before heading back to the U.S.

By the end of the 14-day trip, everyone missed home and had a full menu planned for their homecoming meal. The trip was a major life experience for everyone and much was learned. Students would like to thank advisors Eric Mousel and Kevin Schnaser and everyone involved in helping make the trip safe, education and exciting.

On Jan. 2, 2011, 17 South Dakota State University (SDSU) students and two advisors embarked on a two-week trip to Argentina. Travel consisted of approximately 23 hour of layover time, 26 hours of flight time and security checks, and hours upon hours on a tour bus. The purpose of the trip was to expose students to Argentina’s agriculture, as well as South American culture.

Departing South Dakota in -10° F. weather, the humid 90° F. temperatures of Buenos Aires were welcomed by all. Students spent two days in Argentina’s capital city, testing their ability to brush their teeth using bottled water; ordering food and beverage in Spanish; and navigating their way across one of the world’s widest streets (16 lanes). To say the least, everyone experienced a bit of culture shock.

On their second day in Buenos Aires, students toured the Liniers de Mercado auction market. The auction yard was located within the city and spanned well over 70 acres. On the day of their visit, approximately 6,000 head of cattle sold within a four-hour time frame. Students then traveled to the headquarters of CREA, a nonprofit consulting firm for farmers and ranchers.

Students traveled by tour bus to Santa Rosa, LaPampa, touring the Fossati brothers’ ranch in the middle of the country. One student commented, “If I didn’t know any better, I would think I was on a ranch in South Dakota… only with more grass that is.” Management practices utilized by the Fossati operation were similar to ranches in the Midwest with a few exceptions: Cattle were mainly of British breeding, with the ultimate goal of operating a straight Angus herd. Crops such as corn or sorghum were planted ahead of the two-month dry season for grazing purposes. Castration was done at birth, and branding was done at weaning. Cattle frame sizes were smaller than cattle in the U.S. In visiting with the students, the Fossatis recognized the need to increase the size of their cattle to produce more pounds of beef with fewer numbers of livestock.

On the fifth day of their trip, the group visited Parque Luro, a natural vegetation and wildlife preserve. Wildlife such as parrots, red deer and the native Calden tree were some of the observed scenery.

Day six was spent touring a native Canadian’s farm in Southern La Pampa. William Randall has farmed in Argentina for 30 years; students enjoyed his unique accent. Corn, soybeans and sunflowers were the predominate crops grown, along with his herd of F2-generation Brahman-Hereford crossed cattle.

The following day, students toured more farming operations and got their first look at a feedlot that cost little to nothing to build. Because operating capital in Argentina is very hard to come by, low-cost facilities are common. Students also toured a 400-head dairy operation where Holstein cows grazed alfalfa fields before being brought by horseback twice a day for milking.

During the tour of a rotational grazing operation, students observed 300-pound steers grazing alfalfa fields. One of the tools implemented to do this was a Rumensin® capsule administered orally to prevent bloat.

During their final night in Santa Rosa, the group was treated to a traditional Gaucho show. There, students were given the opportunity to ride horses and participate in some of the traditional games while on horseback. A whole lamb was roasted on an open fire with song and dance during and after supper.

The next stop on the group’s itinerary was Rosario. Here students toured a John Deere dealership, and were happy to see modern equipment they were familiar with. A tour of the Rosario Board of Trade took place the following morning. The Rosario Board of Trade is much like the Chicago Board of Trade in which grain and livestock are bid upon and prices are set. Following the Board of Trade tour, student returned to Buenos Aires, attending a Sabor Tango, where tango and native dances were performed.

On day 13 students boarded a ferry to spend a day in Colonia, Uruguay. While in Uruguay, everyone was able to tour the coastal city. Some students rented scooters, go carts and event a golf cart to travel the entire city. Others decided to take in the beautiful warm weather on the beach before heading back to the U.S.

By the end of the 14-day trip, everyone missed home and had a full menu planned for their homecoming meal. The trip was a major life experience for everyone and much was learned. Students would like to thank advisors Eric Mousel and Kevin Schnaser and everyone involved in helping make the trip safe, education and exciting.

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