February 14, 2013
As middle class populations continue to grow around the world, many consumers begin asking, “Where’s the beef?”
Not only has the growing middle class contributed to record beef exports for large beef producing states such as Kansas, it has also resulted in many foreign countries striving to build domestic beef production, according to J.J. Jones, Kansas Department of Agriculture marketing and trade director.
Jones recently led a small delegation from Kansas to Russia to showcase Kansas’ beef sector and the supporting sectors of the Kansas agricultural community. During the mission, the delegation attended AgroFarm Russia 2013, a four-year old livestock show held in Moscow. While at the show, Andrew Murphy, president and CEO of Innovative Livestock Services, a Kansas-based company with feedyards in Kansas and Nebraska and a member of the KDA Agricultural Advocacy, Marketing and Outreach Team, presented information about modern cattle feeding at a forum hosted by the Russia Ministry of Agriculture.
Joining Murphy in the presentation were Gennady Legoshin, department head of beef cattle production at the National Scientific Research Institute of Animal Farming of the Russian Academy of Agrarian Sciences; Sergey Nitsenko, owner of Angus Genetics of Russia; and Bolaev Baatr, Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kalmykia. They all shared with show attendees the strengths of the U.S. model of raising, feeding and marketing beef cattle.
During his presentation, Murphy highlighted that not only are good genetics and cattle important, but so too are good management, record keeping, animal health and nutrition programs, employees and risk management tools. Murphy further stressed that every operation and situation is different and beef producers must be able to adapt in order to accomplish their goal of producing high-quality beef for global consumers.
“Andrew shared with the Russian producers just what they needed to hear,” said Eric Burken, Angus Genetics of Russia manager. Burken is a Nebraska native who has managed Angus Genetics of Russia since its inception in 2008.
Jones said as nations like Russia continue efforts to build their beef cattle herds, Kansas will play an important role. He said utilizing industry experts like Murphy will not only help the other nations but will also further solidify Kansas as a global leader in the beef cattle sector.
“Many foreign countries have specific policies and incentives to encourage their farmers and landowners to add beef cattle to their portfolios,” Jones said. “Russia, for example, specifically instructs landowners with vacant lands to add beef or dairy cattle in order to maintain the lands’ classification as agricultural land. But raising cattle and producing beef requires knowledge of proper nutrition, animal care and husbandry and marketing issues. Russian producers and allied industry partners recognize Kansas as a leader in the beef cattle sector and are looking to Kansas ranchers, agribusinesses and universities for resources and educational training. Murphy did a tremendous job showcasing the Kansas beef cattle sector and educating Russian producers to help them with their own herds.”
The Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Advocacy, Marketing and Outreach team has worked with Kansas farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses to expand export opportunities in Russia since 2010