MSR&PC Hosts Brazilian Ag Professionals

A team of 47 Brazilian ag professionals made a two-day visit to southern Minnesota May 4 -5 to learn about topics such as water quality, cooperatives, succession planning, modern practices and issues affecting profitability.

The trade team consisted of Brazilian farmers, agents, professors and agriculture executives who all work for a national agency, comparable to Minnesota’s extension service. The team was interested in learning about Minnesota agricultural practices and being able to promote and share their experiences with farmers in their home state of Matto Grosso du Sul.

The Brazilian delegation began by visiting the Minnesota Soybean office, where they learned about the organization, biodiesel, cooperatives, succession planning and water drainage. The presentations were interactive, with numerous questions on MSGA membership, water quality, everyday practices and the B10 mandate.

MSGA Director Earl Ziegler speaks to members of the Brazilian trade team that toured his farm near Good Thunder, Minn.

MSGA Director Earl Ziegler speaks to members of the Brazilian trade team that toured his farm near Good Thunder, Minn.

Even though language was a significant barrier, the agriculture bond between Minnesota Soybean and the Brazil trade team allowed them to learn from each other and take away new ideas.

“Hosting trade teams is a relationship builder,” said Kim Nill, Director of Market Development for Minnesota Soybean. “Trade teams allow Minnesota Soybean to connect, network and learn from people around the world, all of which will be beneficial in the future.”

Because of their particular interests, the second day was spent visiting Doug Hager’s Discovery Farms site and Ziegler Farms, both in rural Good Thunder, Minn. The team was able to see a modern day farming operation while having the opportunity to ask additional questions.

Warren Formo, Executive Director for the Minnesota Ag Water Resource Center, showed the team the Discovery Farms drainage monitoring site. He received several questions about how U.S. farmers reduce runoff and monitor water quality. Formo explained that farmers take water quality very seriously and research is key to improving agricultural practices.

The trade team’s visit to Minnesota was made possible by the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and the soybean checkoff.