Day 4) Cargill Crushing Facility and Rizobacter Dinner

After the market, we got out of the city and traveled to the country where we saw plots of corn and soybeans.  The plants looked very similar to a field in Iowa, flat and green.  Dekalb is the popular brand of seed corn, but the beans are often developed in Argentina.  And yes, there are still mosquitoes in Argentina. 

The crushing facility was built and performed similar to one in the United States.  Although it is an American company, all employees are native to Argentina.  Located by a river, the plant has 340 employees.  Only about 15 of them are women.  Seven years also, there was one woman working at this Cargill plant.  They have up to 300 trucks deliver soybeans per day that is later crushed into oil and meal, because the export tax is lower compared to a soybean.  They also have a soy biodiesel plant that has been shut down for three months because the market is so low and farmers are not selling their crop.  It was interested to hear that Cargill is taking advantage of the farmer strike and is providing them with storage bags in return for their business when they are ready to sell their crop. 

The day ended with a barbeque, but not American style.  An Argentine barbeque, also called el asado, consists of grilling high quality meat over an open fire.  The meat consists of various cuts of beef, lamb, and minimum pork.  Each meal is often served with bread and is delicious. 

While speaking to Argentine natives during dinner, we were able to ask questions and learn more about the culture.  I learned that most schools only are in attendance from 8 am to 1 pm or 1 pm to 5 pm.  Public universities are free for anyone, although only about 25% of people will actually graduate.  A big shock to the college students in the group is that most of the young people go socialize from 2 am to 6 am.  They will go to bed and then wake up to go dancing before going to work at 8 am.  Also dinner is served around 8 or 9 pm after having your afternoon tea at 5 pm.  We decided this time schedule was difficult and perhaps was not the life for us.