hen we arrived at INTA, the National Institute for Agriculture, I immediately noticed that a sign was posted that said “Centro de Capacitcion; Dr. Norman E. Borlaug.” I later found out that a group that was working on sustainable agriculture practices with Dr. Borlaug once visited, which I thought was very neat since he is an iconic legend from Iowa and someone who I admire.
While at INTA, we listened to a panel of speakers who discusses various topics. Since my class topic is rural Argentina (we have to look into a specific area of interest before and after the trip) I was specifically interested in how agriculture has affected rural Argentina and how women are involved in agriculture.
INTA was created in 1956 to help agriculture research improve rural life. One thing I found very interesting that the term “agriculture” does not mean everything involved in agriculture, it only implies to crops. Livestock is the term to describe animals and agriculture was never used to describe livestock. Read More
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. Read More
Each day seems better than the next, and attending the Linear Cattle Market, touring the largest Argentine Cargill Crushing facility, and ending with a barbecue with a local crop company.
The Linear Cattle Market is the largest market in Argentina, a total of 80 acres. Opening in 1901, the market is now is privately owned by 55 brokers. Each broker has specific pens and brings in certain cattle and buyers. We were able to watch 4 different brokers sell their cattle, breeds ranging from Herefords, black Angus, and even a few water buffalo. Read More
Being in Argentina, this is my first experience where I do not understand the native language. Before this trip, I never understood what it was like to have someone talk to you and have no idea what he or she is saying. I now have a new sympathy for immigrants and tourists who take chances and go beyond their comfort zone to experience a new culture.
Three days in and my trip has been fabulous, complete with learning to tango dance and riding a horse a gaucho ranch. The biggest lesson so far has been how there are always a few things humans comprehend, no matter their native language. All people from all countries can share music, animals, and a smile.
The old cowboys are called gauchos. Similar to the United States western cowboys, these guys use horses to ranch cattle. We were able to tour a historic house and ride horses on a trail. Lunch was served in a large dining hall where people from around the world enjoyed the food; a few even enjoyed the blood sausage that was served (use your imagination of what it is made from). After singing and dancing during the performance, we watched a gaucho show. Read More
The city of Buenos Aires is a mixture of old, historical buildings mixed with new, contemporary buildings. The city was established in 1536, yet only one building remains because in 1880 everything was torn down and the city was planned. About 3 million people live in the city, and 10 million reside in the suburbs.
The May Square is one of many plazas throughout the city, often the plaza has a statue and a park. The Pink House sits on the May Square, which is where the president's office is. It is crazy to think that I have been inside the Argentine capitol and have never been allowed inside of the United State White House. All I had to go through was a simple metal detector!
The Pink House is pink because when it was built, the material was a mix of clay and ox fat, which the blood turned the walls pink. Argentina has had two women presidents, one which is in power currently. Christina took over after her husband died during his presidency and we quickly learned that she is not well liked. The Pink House is open to the public and just has a metal detector as security. Read More