S.D. again sending producers to Russia | TSLN.com

S.D. again sending producers to Russia

Applications are being accepted from South Dakota beef producers or beef industry representatives interested in attending a beef genetics trade mission to the Russian Federation, co-hosted by the South Dakota, Kansas and Montana Departments of Agriculture.

This will be the second time that the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) has led such a mission, as a successful mission was completed in October 2012 with the state sending three delegates.

Tentatively planned for late October, the trip will again include beef producers and industry representatives.

Along with personnel from the two other states, Ty Eschenbaum, agriculture development representative for the SDDA, will help lead the delegation on an eight-day mission with stops in Moscow and Novosibirsk, Russia's third largest city located in the Siberian region.

"This trip will be a collaborative effort to not only continue demonstrating that the U.S., especially the Northern Plains, is a top producer of high-quality beef genetics, but to help build the knowledge and relationships necessary for willing South Dakota producers to capitalize on this emerging market," Eschenbaum said.

According to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), "In 2012, Russian imports of live cattle rose by almost 50 percent in volume and value, to 137,000 head worth nearly half a billion dollars. Of this amount, the U.S. had the largest share, at over 54 percent of total imports, and Russia was the largest market in the world for U.S. cattle exports in 2012."

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According to Eschenbaum, "Hundreds, if not thousands of these cattle are coming out of South Dakota, not surprisingly as our state is home to some of the best cattle genetics on the globe. Also, in 2012, we were the fifth largest producer of beef cattle in the nation, based on calves born."

Funding for the focused trade mission to Russia is provided by U.S. Livestock Genetics Export (USLGE), a non-profit international trade organization that includes SDDA as a member. USLGE has cooperator status with the FAS of the USDA and uses Market Access Program funds to help develop international markets for U.S. livestock. Funding for two industry representatives is available.

The application deadline for producers interested in attending the trade mission to Russia is Wednesday, Aug. 28, and is posted online at: http://sdda.sd.gov/legacydocs/AgDevelopment/PDF/2013ApplicationRussiaTrade%20mission.pdf

For more information on the application and the October trade mission, contact Ty Eschenbaum at 605-773-5146.

Agriculture is South Dakota's No. 1 industry, generating over $21 billion in annual economic activity and employing more than 122,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture's mission is to promote, protect, preserve, and improve this industry for today and tomorrow. Visit us online at http://sdda.sd.gov or find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SDAgDept and Twitter @SDAgriculture.

–S.D. Department of Agriculture