Day 5 in Uruguay! I honestly started falling in love with Uruguay by this time. This was also my favorite day of the trip. Our day started off at the INIA research station called Palo a Pique. There, we learned about their forage based beef production. Dr. Jose Ignacio discussed the research being done in cow herd management. He discussed how changes in nutrition and breeding affects their herd. It was interesting to see the difference in the body conditions of these cows. They all seemed to be in a very healthy range and were quite uniform looking as a herd.
After visiting the INIA research station, we headed to a family owned ranch. This ranch was named El Paraiso. There we learned all about the  ranch and its efficiency and overall production. Mr. Jose Ortiz manages the ranch and makes the everyday decisions. When it comes to bigger decisions, he discussed how his family (Mother and sister) will come together in agreement. After Mr. Jose’s discussion about the business side of the ranch, we rode on the bus to go take a look at one of the rice fields on their ranch. They rent their land to a rice farmer who plants and harvests the rice. The farmer has to level the land in preparation for the rice so that it will hold water and supply all of the rice with enough water to grow efficiently. Our next stop was to a river that flows on the back side of the ranch. This river is the main water source for the ranch. It was at low levels due to the drought going on in Uruguay when we were there but it was still beautiful! After taking a tour of the ranch, we headed back to where the main house was. When we got back to the main part of the ranch, we had the opportunity to ride horses. We rode horses all along the front pastures and it was amazing! The memories made were unforgettable. Pictured above is Julianna and I on horseback. We had the best time riding together!