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CVM Faculty Share Expertise with
South American Colleagues

MU College of Veterinary Medicine faculty recently hosted a visit from veterinarians and beef and dairy producers from South America. In addition to touring the CVM, the group visited six corporate, private and university-owned farms around Missouri over the course of two days.

Mizzou veterinarians recently served as hosts of a cultural exchange, welcoming fellow veterinarians and beef and dairy producers from South America. A total of 17 visitors from Chile, Uruguay and Argentina spent three days learning about Missouri livestock and veterinary technology available at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine.

Pedro Melendez, an associate professor of dairy production medicine at the college, coordinated the visit at the request of animal nutrition company Alltech Chile. Alltech was holding a conference in Lexington, Kentucky, and sought an opportunity for some of the attendees to gain exposure to livestock production in Missouri.

“Missouri has both grazing and confined production operations, which Chile also has,” Melendez explained of the organizers’ interest in the Show-Me State. “Land is still inexpensive, the price for milk is good and grass grows year-round,” he added.

Melendez is from Chile and began teaching at MU last fall. He began the tour for the South American visitors with a presentation about beef and dairy production in Missouri, including herd statistics, disease threats and economic issues. Scott Poock, an associate extension professor of veterinary medicine, also addressed the group, focusing on milk production and explaining the economics behind a trend toward fewer producers who are raising larger herds.

The second day of the group’s visit saw them traveling to Springfield where they met with extension Dairy Specialist Stacey Hamilton with the MU Southwest Research Center and toured three grazing farms, one owned by a New Zealand corporation and two smaller privately owned facilities. For the final day of the visit, the group visited a 5,000-head Angus breed feedlot operation near Columbia, a family-owned dairy near Kansas City, and the MU College of Agriculture Food and Natural Resources’ Foremost Dairy Research Center. They also heard from Craig Payne, an associate extension professor of veterinary medicine whose area of expertise is beef cattle.

Melendez said he hopes this with be the first of many cultural exchanges between South American countries and the CVM. He is also calling on his research and teaching contacts in Chile to explore the possibility of CVM students pursuing preceptorships there.


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Last Update: February 29, 2012