28 February 2010

Summary of Days 4, 5 and 6

Last Friday when we had met with the various departments involved with the Brazilian Government and were preparing for our day with Governor Maggi and Colonel Maia as well as the Environmental Secretary Luis Henrique. We also had a chance to visit Amaggi Enterprises before taking a bus to Lucas do Rio Verde via BR 163. It makes our Interstate 74 look like a super highway that is absolutely no potholes and is perfectly smooth. The ride was long and tiring but the view was amazing. From the mountains and forest to soybeans and pastures it is an incredible site to see. Saturday we met with Luciane Copetti who is the local Secretary for Agriculture and Environment before heading to Fiagril which is the biodiesel mill. We met with Paulo Franz who is the owner/operator of Mano Julio farms. They are a large pork and poultry operation that hasn’t seen a negative years in all fifteen years of operation. After our long bus ride back to Cuiaba (kwee-a-bah) we had dinner with Colonel Maia at restaurant that is very similar to a Brazilian steakhouse.. only with fish. Yesterday was a travel day and today we’re headed for Piracicaba for more briefings and meetings.

On a side note – we’re headed to Buenos Aries on Wednesday. It will be interesting they registered a 6.6 earth quake following the 8.8 earthquake in Chile. There has been reports that southern Brazil and parts of Argentina felt the Chilean earthquake but when we were in Mato Grosso we did not.

We have five more days left in our South American adventure with part of the 2010 Illinois Ag Leadership Program.

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