ERA National Winner: Learning And Growing

Upon arrival in Mexico, we did not know what to expect from the agriculture or the people. Ag is much different in the fact that the fields are very small — from 1 to maybe 80 acres at the most. The main reason for these field sizes is the terrain is very rugged and there is very little mechanical machinery used; it is all done by manual labor. We may look at this manual labor as a disadvantage, but to companies in Mexico, it’s jobs to keep the country employed. The business people as well as most of the work force take great pride in their occupations. It was so nice to see everyone working with a smile on their face. The people we met were so eager and pleasant to visit with.

Agroquimico de Jacona is a very professionally run ag dealership offering many services other dealerships did not provide. The company gave us a great tour of its farming culture by showing us a large strawberry farm — an 80-acre field of strawberries all under one roof. The strawberries get a lot of attention from the time they are planted until harvest. These plants are fertilized very intensely by adding different nutrients and micronutrients to get the correct plant height, sweetness, and shape of the strawberry. Agroquimico de Jaco­na’s crop is all exported to the U.S.

Tequila Making
Some of the many other crops that we saw included wheat, corn, and agave. Agave, used to make tequila, is one the larger cash crops in this area. Touring the tequila plant was very interesting, especially because the original tequila processing plant is still available for viewing. The modern plant was built around the original so you could easily compare and view the two. I would highly recommend this “tequila express” tour.

We also had a chance to tour DU­COR, which is a 50/50 partnership between Dupont and the business run by Mario Corneyo. This is a large distributorship which wholesales and retails ag products. I was very impressed with the cleanliness of these facilities — I promise you, you could eat off the floor! DUCOR handles all types of chemical, seed, and fertilizer — and it has the same fertilizer issues retailers do in the U.S. In some cases, the company even has more of a transportation issue than its U.S. counterparts.

Again, everyone in this company was very professional and took pride in their work.

In visiting with these dealers and talking about business, we found that we had a lot of similarities when it comes to competition and offering services to our growers. The weather was absolutely wonderful and made this very convenient for our tours. It would be nice to live in an area where wind was not an issue! We could actally get some work done!

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