SDSU students will be first to witness new Argentinian agriculture policy
December 22, 2015
Eleven South Dakota State University (SDSU) students will do more over Christmas break than eat cookies.
Some ambitious agriculture students will be some of the first Americans to step foot on the soil producing Argentina crops and livestock immediately after a major change in government control. After 15 years of anti-agriculture government regime, Nov. 22, 2015. Argentina elected Mauricio Macri as their new President. During the election process Macri surprised agricultural supporters by proposing a reduction in the crippling taxes and trade tariffs which had nearly broke the agricultural industry in the country. Now, fully in power, the new President is following through on his promises and making major agricultural policy changes happen.
These SDSU students spent many hours during their fall semester studying and preparing for their 12-day visit to Argentina and Uruguay, traveling Dec. 28 and returning back to South Dakota on Jan. 8, 2016, therefore having the opportunity to ring in the New Year in South America.
Watching the Argentina election closely the students will now be able to visit directly with producers, business company employees and policy leaders all focused in agricultural industry and have the opportunity to learn directly what impact these vast changes being proposed by the President will have on agriculture and Argentina. Ag Web reported on December 15, that the new Argentine President Macri, announced the elimination of export taxes on crops, including corn, and wheat, truly carrying through with his campaign pledge and to cut the soybean tariff by 5 percentage points. Under previous government reign, export taxes on corn were 20 percent, wheat 23 percent and the soybean tariff was 35 percent.
When the students return from this educational experience, they will truly have a fresh and first-hand understanding of the impact global agriculture has on producers even those here in South Dakota and the Midwest. As Assistant Professor for this international travel course, who also lead the student group last year, I too am very excited to see hear how the producers express their thoughts of the future of agriculture for their country, as last year it was very bleak.
Other tour sites visited during the 12-day study trip include visits to: the Port of Rosario – Argentina's largest grain exporting port; the U.S. Embassy based in Buenos Aires which oversees agriculture in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay; the world's largest livestock auction market; the board of trade; and in both countries (Argentina and Uruguay) several on-site visits to crop and livestock farms to visit directly with the producers about production parameters and learn about the similarities and differences between U.S. and South American production practices. Another visit will be to the headquarters of CHS, Inc., special supporters for this year's student travel group. Plus visits to cultural and historical sites to round out the overall experience.
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This course/trip is one of five of the international travel study trips offered by SDSU's College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences. F
B. Lynn Gordon is an SDSU Extension Agricultural Leadership Specialist