Jumping In Freezing River During Tambov Trip

Here some pictures from my stay in the Tambov region. These are iphone pictures, but the quality is still decent.


Map of Tambov Region with some farm properties mapped out.


Pictures from road on the way to visit a farm. It was cold (-28C). School was cancelled (in addition to "snow days", they get "cold days" too in Russia).


The office of a farm operation we saw.


I couldn't resist taking this picture. Really looks desolate doesn't it? The building in the background is an abandonned stable (they don't use horses to farm anymore), and those are guard dogs.


Now this building is right next to the abandonned stable in picture above (the power line runs from one picture to the other). This brand new (also abandonned) building was build as part of a government program design to encourage villagers in Black Earth region to run their own mini-farming operations. The building was supposed to house 25 cows for dairy production. What happed was the local village leader excitedly joined in to , but once the building was build he decided, "this is stupid, it will lose money." Hence this brand new building sits unused with a sign outside advertising the government program which build it.


This is a farm laboratory. These are used to determined the quality of grain, which determines the price.


Some farming equipment (beet harvester in red).


These newly installed silos will be used to load grain onto rail cars. The equipement which moves grain into silos still needs to be installed.


This structure is for loading grain onto trucks.


This is the inside of the building above (where you see windows). These machines are used to glean and separate grain (100 tons per hour capacity).


The view from top of stairs leading to room with machines for gleaning/separating grain . You can see the farm laboratory in background.


Three pictures of a warehouse filled with barley which will be sold to breweries to make beer.


Another picture showing the farm laboratory in background. The closer building is used to weight trucks.


Last Friday, Charles and I were invited to a Russian dusha (cabin in the woods) for the night. Below shows the inside of the dusha.


On Friday night, I also underwent the Russian experience of jumping in a freezing river. The three pictures below are from the next day, showing where it happened.

The hole in the ice (which froze again overnight) was cut using a chainsaw. I decided to partake in this Russian tradition because I felt I had to do it once. I haven't decided if I will do it again.

(The slight hangover I had on Satruday was part of the reason these pictures were not posted sooner)


It was a productive trip. I met some key people for setting up farmland deals in Tambov, which was educational and useful. I visited two farm properties and had some long discussions about the economics of and strategies for farming in the region.

The trip also let me touch base with Charles Bausman. I set him up with his own Market Skeptics email (CharlesBausman@marketskeptics.com
), and he is now working full time on Regia Russia Agro Investment (the fund I set up to invest in Russian agriculture).

Finally, I had the chance to jump in a freezing river (at least I think it was a plus).

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5 Responses to Jumping In Freezing River During Tambov Trip

  1. All that barley is for beer!! Great news!

    I reads that some Belgian brewers were doign layoffs and the workers went on strike and closed down production. I think Stella Artis beer was one of them.

    I knew Budweiser should not have been sold to the Belgians!

  2. inittowinit says:

    Very interesting. I have personal experience working in Russia. Agriculture outside of St. Petersburg. Are you not concerned with the reality of government interference, payoffs, bribes, and the real possible threat of Russian thugs hijacking your hard work?

  3. Trader says:

    Stocks begin to crash.. Metals and commodities also begin to drop now..

    Perhaps food price will stay high as you mention, but dollar certainly is not imploding right now.

    2010 might just be another great year for USD...

  4. Sebastian says:

    In Finland there is always a sauna nearby where you take your ice bath. Is it like that in Russia too or how else do you get yourself warm after a bath?

  5. Jimmy says:

    @getyourselfconnected: Hehe, so bad beer would never be bought by the Belgians, also not Heineken… Jupiler forever… ;o)

    There’s no problem with Stella, only with Jupiler (most favorite beer in Belgium, also Stella and Maes) and this makes us angry… But it’s solved… temporally… :-S

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