Gov. Sam Brownback, Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman and beef producers from across the state are back in Kansas after a 12-day trade mission to Russia and Kazakhstan. The tour focused on growing the market for Kansas beef genetics and agriculture products.
"This trip was a great opportunity to show other parts of the world what the Kansas cattle industry has to offer," Brownback said. "It was a successful trip that will prove to be very beneficial to the Kansas economy."
While in Russia, the group met with Russian Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik, attended the Golden Autumn Livestock Exposition, visited with Russian beef producers about U.S. beef genetics and toured farms/ranches in the Tyumen region to see first-hand what Russian beef production looks like.
The delegation also traveled to Astana, Kazakhstan for meetings about increasing agricultural exports from Kansas to Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is in the process of building the animal agriculture sector of their economy. In the last few years, they have been imported live registered Angus and Hereford cattle as seed stock to rebuild their animal herds. Most of these animals are being air freighted from the United States.
While in Kazakhstan, the group met with about 15 producers during a roundtable discussion hosted by the Kazakhstan Ministry of Agriculture. In addition, discussions regarding how Kansas and Kazakhstan can strengthen trade of livestock genetics, animal health products, feed ingredients and agricultural equipment were had with the Kazakhstan President, Kazakhstan State Secretary, Kazakhstan First Deputy Prime Minister and Kazakhstan Minister of Agriculture.
The Ambassador of Kazakhstan has been directed to work with the Kansas Department of Agriculture to determine an action plan for increasing Kansas/Kazakhstan trade relations regarding agriculture.
"We've had great visits to Russia and Kazakhstan including productive conversations about expanding agriculture trade to these countries with high-level officials," Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman said. "Additionally, the opportunity to visit ranches has furthered our understanding of how Kansas can best serve the beef industry in these countries through livestock genetics, equipment and feed ingredients."
This trip follows two Kansas Department of Commerce trips to Russia on behalf of Kansas ranchers in 2010. This is the State of Kansas' first trade mission trip to Kazakhstan in recent years.This mission trip was made possible by U.S. Department of Agriculture Market Access Program funding through U.S. Livestock Genetic Export (USLGE.) To learn more about USLGE and Market Access Program funding, visit www.uslge.org.