US students impressed with SA agriculture

US students impressed with SA agriculture
Students from the US’s South Dakota State University visited South Africa recently, in order to gain knowledge about, and develop a better understand of, how farming in the country operates.
Photo: Prof Michiel Scholtz

The visit was a result of a partnership between Prof Michiel Scholtz from the Agricultural Research Council, Dr Michael Gonda, associate professor at SDSU’s animal science department, and Dr Michael MacNeil, an expert in the field of breeding and genetics research, who collaborates with both institutions.

The students toured a variety of agricultural enterprises including sheep, dairy cattle, wild game, crop farming, and beef cattle.

In addition, the group visited both a bull testing and meat science facility. The group also visited Embryo Plus in Brits, an assisted reproduction centre that is world-renowned for cloning and in-vitro fertilisation, among others, Leddy said.

The group also visited Embryo Plus in Brits, an assisted reproduction centre that is world-renowned for cloning and in-vitro fertilisation, among others, Leddy said.

“A highlight of the trip was visiting Trekpad Safaris, owned by the De Kock family near Koedoeskop. The business consists of game, crop, and beef enterprises.  We assisted with the darting, microchip tagging, and data-collecting of game species such as nyala, impala, and sable,” she said.

This study provided students with a glimpse of the opportunities and challenges South African farmers faced, Leddy said.