Writer: D'Lyn Ford
LAS CRUCES -- In a reverse trade mission, Mexican ranchers recently toured agribusinesses north of the border to evaluate American agricultural methods and establish a marketing network for importing and exporting products. The group visited farms and ranches in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.
One stop was the Northern New Mexico Bull Test at El Sueno del Corazon Ranch in Abiquiu, where young, purebred bulls are tested in a controlled environment to assess their breeding potential and weight gain. After the test, the bulls are sold at auction, said Tony Valdez, Rio Arriba County agricultural agent with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service .
"We're hoping that the Mexican ranchers will share their experience with others when they return home," Valdez said. "In the future, they may look to New Mexico livestock producers when they're ready to purchase replacements for their herds."
One rancher from Walsh, Colo., already has seen the benefits of marketing to Mexico. Following last year's bull test, marketing specialists from the New Mexico Department of Agriculture sent a video of the bulls to Mexican ranchers. R.J. Arlow of Arlow Ranch sold 15 bulls to Mexico as a result.
"Ranchers from both sides of the border are taking advantage of the North American Free Trade Agreement," Valdez said. "It's a win-win situation where Mexican ranchers see different production methods and our ranchers expand their marketing area."
The tour was sponsored by Extension and the state agriculture departments in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.
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