Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cows + Airplanes = Kazakhstan

Sure, I understand some of you may be wondering what's the connection.

In fact, some of you may be wondering what's Kazakhstan...? 

And I wouldn't laugh at you if you didn't know it is the ninth largest country in the world and borders Russia....because I had to look it up on the map myself.  :)  So you are forgiven....

Back to the cows though, their unusual presence at the Hector International Airport has been making headlines.  But heck...I agree, it's not everyday a bred Hereford heifer gets to board a plane and go to Kazakhstan.

 Photo by Red River Farm Network

It's all because Global Beef Consultants, LLC and Missouri River Feedlots of Hensler, ND have expanded their market well beyond the traditional agriculture states and have sent the first of many bred females to Akmola Oblast, Kazakhstan.  In fact, this ambitious project will send over 2,000 head of North Dakota's genetics to Kazahkstan to jumpstart their beef industry within the next year.  Yes, that's a lot of airplanes...

Let's just say, it redefines progressive.  

Many of my friends and ND cattleman have helped load and secure the bred heifers for departure.  They ride across the pond in a 747 and are held in wooden crates with 3-6 females per pen.  160 heifers rode on the inaugural flight on October 12th and they have at least one flight scheduled per week for the next month. 

Photo by Red River Farm Network

Photo by Red River  Farm Network

Now, as a North Dakota State University communications student...I admit I haven't studied a lot about the economics of this state.  However, my experience with breeders and state communication specialists have taught me how important the climates and countries on the same latitude as us are on our economy.  A lot of farmers, engineers and marketers share ideas, genetics and equipment in order to successfully conquer the challenging and harsh conditions.  So, why not share cattle?  Not only will it be a huge and immediate jump start to Kazakhstan's cattle industry, but imagine the impact on ours.

I am proud of North Dakota agriculture for embracing a market opportunity and making it a profitable venture for their state.  I read an article that claimed the best part of this multi-million dollar deal was that it reminded North Dakotans that their economy isn't just about's about agriculture as well. North Dakota have always been a state based on livestock and that will always remain.

Now that's something to talk about.

1 comment:

  1. My dad is thinking about selling some heifers to Kazakhstan. I am very excited for him to embrace this opportunity b/c I think it can bring a/b a lot of good!! Great seeing you this weekend!! Good luck at the Royal!!