Livestock breeding was first introduced in Mexico during colonial times and has since been a source of wealth for the country, thanks especially to its high international health standards, a close bond between producers and industry, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and the research, innovation, and technology development in the field.
This activity is considered a tradition in Aguascalientes. It has been practiced for decades and, although the state is not amongst the top Mexican producers, both its livestock and animal by-products are well known nationwide.
Hundreds of stories about farmers who have contributed to our economic development are told throughout this small state. One of them is about Antonio Delgado, leader of the Association of Cattle Raisers from the Livestock Registry, member of the board of directors of the Charolais Charbray Herd Book Association of Mexico, and owner of Rancho el Picacho.
Delgado affirms that Aguascalientes has stood out in animal breeding, mainly in registered livestock, as it has taken advantage of factors such as the strong promotion given to genetic experimentation and to the improvement of DNA and EDPs (expected progeny differences, an evaluation of an animal’s genetic worth as a parent).The National San Marcos Fair has also contributed to this success with its Livestock Expo and the Calaveras Culture Fest, which represent a priceless support to commercialization.
The Covid-19 pandemic affected this sector as it did many others. Lockdown restrictions made it impossible to hold massive events and sales from animal breeding were at risk. However, thanks to Delgado’s vision and the support from the state government, strategies were designed to help breeders and promote local consumption.
Street markets were set up where producers were able to show and sell their animals thanks to the support from the governments of Jesús María, Calvillo, San José de Gracia, and Cosío, all backed up by the Department of Rural and Agribusiness Development.
According to Delgado, things are looking much better in 2021 for the sector since State Governor Martin Orozco announced that the budget for agricultural activities was to remain “intact” and that SEDRAE would be closer to producers.