“I’ve Got a Crush on You”, “You’ve got to kiss a few frogs to find a Prince”, “I’m nuts over you”, and “Virginia’s for Lovers”. No, this blog isn’t about finding love, but it is about a group of people that love agriculture and their tour of operations in Argentina. So here is it Day Four: General Deheza.
After a night of rest at our hotel, La Posada del Labriega “Inn of the Farmworker”, we began our day with host Sergio Morichetti of Aceitera General Deheza S.A. (AGD). Sergio joined Agrotours guide Henry Murphy in translations and explanations.
AGD is a diversified privately held agricultural company in General Deheza,which is in the province of Córdoba. Our first stop was at their facility to learn about oil seed production and processing. Here we were joined by the plant manager Oscar who led the tour and described the crushing facility. It was a large plant which demonstrated right off the use of state of the art technology for efficiency. We first witnessed this as truck drivers delivering seed were given a tacking card at the gate that resembled a thick credit card. This card allows the operators to track the truck throughout its visit through the plant. It also allows automation of sampling, weighing, and the direction for seed delivery; which silo the seed should be dumped based on its moisture content. The plant receives various product throughout the year – peanuts (April-July), sunflower (February), early corn (March), soybean March-April and sometimes May), and late corn (June-July).
After leaving the crushing plant we toured AGD’S frog farm, that’s right frog farm. The farm was begun by the head of AGD at that time because he enjoyed eating frog legs but could not find any near by. It was similar to aquaculture operations we have visited but still was a unique opportunity we had to jump at. (You knew there was a pun in here somewhere).
We were then hosted to a wonderful informational luncheon by the folks at MANIAGRO ARGENTINA, another diverse agricultural operation. We primarily learned about their peanut production and processing; but they also raise corn and beef cattle. Though this company is just around five years old, the vision of the President Daniel Cavigliasso, they have grown into a successful, bold organization, with the belief they should operate as a “family”. Mr. Cavigliasso was with us during our time with MANIAGRO ARGENTINA, and shared his belief that businesses need to listen to their younger employees to seek their knowledge and enthusiasm. After lunch we went to the fields touring peanut research plots which are completely by the company. Peanuts are very important to Argentina, they were the first country to export peanuts, and still export 95 percent of their crop. Other companies, and states in the U. S. may produce more but here a greater percentage is exported. It’s important to know, representatives of both companies has been to the southern region of the United States to exchange ideas and information.
VALOR fellows had the opportunity to meet Jose Cerutti of Cerutti y’Sitto. This company is in General Deheza, and was started with a mission to sell various types of agricultural machinery. They currently operate under an agreement to market Amadas equipment such as self-propelled peanut combines. In addition they provide service and technical support to their customers. VALOR visited Amadas Industries and founder and VALOR program Board member Dr. Stan Brantley last year.
On to Mercedes for a good nights rest.