Our first visit of the day was to J.D. Hudgins, a family business breeding registered Brahman cattle for sale in 38 states and 43 countries, most located around the equator. This breed is very well suited to tropical and subtropical climates, having originated in India. We got to "meet" Manso, the bull bought by Hudgins in 1933. The entire present day herd can be traced back to Manso.
We then had a great visit over lunch at Hlavinka Equipment Company, another multi-generation family business focused on equipment sales, commercial grain elevator, and their newest venture, a water park! We learned a lot about cotton farming and precision Agriculture and authentic Texas barbecue!
After a quick stop to see grain sorghum and cotton growing,
We continued to the Star of The Republic Museum, to learn more about the history of the state. We saw the very building where the Declaration of Independence (not that one, another one) was signed to declare the independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico in 1836.
Our last stop was at Sexing Technologies, a company offering bull testing and sexed semen and conducting research on increasing feed efficiency. They use some Canadian technology to do this, with the devices that measure individual feed intake coming from Canada. With nine labs across the world, (including one in Listowel, Ontario) Sexing Technologies and ST Genetics is leading the way in genetic improvement in agriculture. A highlight of this visit was meeting Delta, who was until last year the top proven bull in the world.
We also had a speaker from Texas A&M over dinner to provide a perspective on the current NAFTA negotiation and trade between our two countries.
It was a very diverse and informative day and we all grew a little fonder of Texas on our journey.