Friday, August 29, 2014

Innovation and Efficiency

Wednesday we traveled to the Farm Progress Show near Boone, IA with our visitors from Brazil. Innovation and efficiency were definitely on display at the 2014 Farm Progress Show. Our time was spent analyzing new technologies in machinery, production practices, and crop genetics. In the picture below several visitors inspect ears of corn and estimate yield potential with Hawkeye Community College Professor Dave Grunklee.

The group planed to return to the Farm Progress Show on Thursday, but due to inclement weather and lightning the show was canceled while our visitors were in route to the show. The group made the best of the day and visited the Bass Pro Shop and made many additional shopping stops. Friday will be spent touring agribusinesses in the Cedar Rapids area before the group flies to Chicago for the weekend. We wish the group safe travel as they return to Brazil Sunday evening. We had a fantastic time hosting the group and we will miss you all! Here is a closing photo of the group at the Farm Progress Show.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dairy and Research

Tuesday was a very enjoyable day with the humidity and temperatures dropping a bit for our visitors from Brazil. The day started with a trip to Hansen's Dairy as well as included a visit to the Borlaug Learning Center at the Northeast Research Farm near Nashua, IA.

Group inspecting beans at the Borlaug Learning Center.

Hansen's Dairy is a family owned farm that milks and markets their own dairy products from Hudson, IA. All aspects of production were discussed as well as nutrition. After Hansen's the group made their way to Barn Happy for lunch and a little shopping. Next the group traveled to the Borlaug Learning Center at the Northeast Research Farm. Corn and soybean research and production practices were shared. The day wrapped up with a great pizza dinner at Doey Joey's.


"Quente" is a good way to describe today. "Quente" is the Portuguese word for hot and today lived up to that. Although the temperatures rose throughout the day the heat could not bring us down! It was another fantastic day exploring agriculture.

Brazilians visiting with Ben the owner of Blue Diamond Farming Company.

We kicked things off Monday morning with a tour to Wapsie Pines. Wapsie Pines has long been known for their bedding plants and nursery, but recently started up an aquaponics operation. They raise talapia fish in the green house and then utilize the waste and nutrients from the fish to feed the plants the minerals and nutrients they need through a closed system.

After concluding at Wapsie Pines we traveled to John Deere Engine Works to see first hand the process of building an engine. Following John Deere we stopped for lunch before making our way to the Blue Diamond Farming Company. This is a farm that has grown since it's start with the Riensche family in the mid 1800's. We were able to crunch numbers and production practices followed by inspection of the equipment and the new grain handling facility.

Next we found time for a quick tour of the Hawkeye Community College Farm Lab. We wrapped up the evening with a great dinner at Pepper's and visiting with friends!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Good Company and Good Times

Today was a very hot Sunday but that did not stop us from enjoying good company. Christine Schrage from the international business department at the University of Northern Iowa hosted a fantastic day at her home.

We started off relaxing and visiting over lunch, before finding a great shade tree near the pond. We spent the afternoon swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. It was a great way to beat the heat. In late afternoon skeet shooting took place as many past students who have traveled to Brazil from Hawkeye Community College and the University of Northern Iowa stopped by to visit their Brazilian friends. The evening concluded with a "whole hog" hog roast that was delicious. Memories and friendships to truly last a lifetime!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

2014 Agribusiness Tour Kicks Off

Friday was a great day welcoming our Brazilian friends and kicking off the 2014 Agribusiness Tour!

Group at Meyer Agri-Air

After a slight delay in the flight arrival time a group of 12 Brazilians arrived in Iowa.  We welcomed them with a hardy lunch at Famous Dave's BBQ and then made our way to the hotel. After getting settled we loaded up and made our way to the Wellsburg area where we toured the facilities and operations at Meyer Agri-Air. Meyer Agri-Air covers a 17 county area in Iowa providing an aerial spraying service for the past 20 years.  They primarily utilize planes due to greater efficiency, but also have a helicopter for smaller fields and fields with wind turbines.

Following our time at Meyer Agri-Air we made our way to the Morrison Inn for a nice dinner.  After dinner we traveled to Dave Grunklee's (professor at Hawkeye Community College) home.  We inspected corn and soybean fields and shared production practices and challenges.  It was a great first day.  On this rainy Saturday the group will travel to Tassel Ridge Winery to go through the production process, before enjoying an afternoon of shopping at the Tanger Outlet Mall.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Brazilians with FCStone Explore Reinbeck

Today we hosted 23 farmers, coop personnel, and FCStone employees from all parts of Brazil. The trip was organized by INTL FCStone. We started the morning off by touring the Pioneer corn seed production facility in Reinbeck, IA. We were able to tour all aspects of the plant and follow seed corn from the point when it arrives at the plant by truck to the point when it leaves the facility in bags or pro boxes.

Group at Pioneer in Reinbeck

Following our time at Pioneer we made our way to Professor Dave Grunklee's home. There many questions were asked and discussed regarding agronomic practices and precision agriculture technologies. We enjoyed a great pork loin meal before the group had to head towards Dubuque for the night. We look forward to collaborating with this group again in the future.