Beef Genetics In Victor Popular - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Beef Genetics In Victor Popular

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Montana cattle producers are looking to expand beef genetics exports to South Africa.

State Department of Agriculture officials say Montana ranchers have developed several contracts with international cattle producers over the past several years.

Mary Earnheart, the meats and livestock marketing officer for the Montana Department of Agriculture, says she's constantly looking for international markets that could support the Montana cattle industry.

"I look at their economy, I look at their situation, I look at the climate," said Earnhart.

Officials say cattle producers as far away as Russia and Uruguay purchase a variety of cattle breeds right here in Montana.  Earnhart says first, she travels to a potential market with Montana ranchers and meet with local cattle producers.  If it's a viable market for raising cattle, she says the Montana producers will sell live cattle, semen and embryos to that country's producer.

"You know, no one's going to sell their cattle or their genetics better than them," said Earnhart, and Since about 2010, Montana cattle producers have raked in $23 million from beef genetics sales in Russia alone.  Earnhart added "Montana genetics are literally all over the world."

State officials say South Africans currently consume more beef than they produce, making them an emerging market Montanans would like to jump on.

Bob Sutherlin, a ranch owner and commercial cattle producer, says domestic beef genetic sales are also vital to his industry.  Sutherlin buys semen from beef genetics companies and artificially inseminates 250-300 cows per year, adding to his herd of 400 pure bred red Angus.

"You know, you can't afford to buy all the bulls that are out there when you're a small operation."  Earnheart says she plans to travel to South Africa at the end of February with at least two Montana cattle producers saying "We continue to foster those relationships where it's hopefully a good partnership for both countries."

 

 

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