View the trip itinerary here and photos from the 2008 BEEF tour here.

BEEF magazine is headed back to Brazil in 2012, and this is your chance to get a first-hand look at this South American agricultural dynamo. Join BEEF Jan. 18-28, 2012, as the BEEF Study Tour of Brazil hits the road to take an up-close look at the beef production industry and infrastructure of this world agricultural powerhouse. View the photo highlights from our 2008 trip, which included nature and cattle stops in Argentina.

Travel with BEEF Senior Editor Burt Rutherford, a 30-year veteran of the U.S. beef industry, and Renata Stephens, owner of Brazilian Liaison travel agency. Stephens is a native Brazilian who speaks excellent English and has family interests in Brazilian livestock production.

Brazil has the world’s second-largest cattle herd, second only to India. From 1996 to 2006, Brazil increased its beef exports tenfold, overtaking Australia as the world’s largest exporter. In that same time frame, the total value of Brazil’s crops rose to $108 billion, a 365% increase. It is the world’s largest exporter of poultry, sugar cane, orange juice and ethanol.

“In today’s global marketplace, cattlemen need to know their competition and how it operates,” Rutherford says. “We’ve developed an itinerary that will give U.S. beef producers a broad and intensive look at Brazil’s beef systems, which will allow them to assess its strengths and weaknesses as a competitor in international markets.”

Tour participants will experience a variety of cattle ranching and feeding operations in Brazil’s west-central region, an area of subtropical cattle farming. The hands-on beef study tour is designed to show the whole chain of Brazilian beef production and marketing – from genetics to finished product. Stops include seedstock ranches, commercial cattle ranches, a livestock auction, and a cattle production research center.

“During our 10-day trip, you will be immersed into Brazilian culture, with the opportunity to meet families that have been in the cattle business for generations. We’ll sample their hospitality, and taste the tantalizing Brazilian Churrasco. Yes, be prepared to savor a lot of Brazilian beef!” Stephens says. Also on the itinerary are selected tourist and natural attractions.

“Beyond learning about the challenges and opportunities facing Brazilian ranchers, we’ll interact with local farming families, experiencing their day-to-day lifestyles,” Stephens says. “South Americans are very gracious hosts and we fully enjoy our American guests.”

The trip is limited to 25 participants and the U.S. departure point is Miami, FL. You can view the itinerary here. For more information, contact Stephens at 612-802-2388 or Renata@BrazilianLiaison.com; or Joe Roybal at 952-851-3669 or jroybal@beef-mag.com.