Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) International Committee Co-Chairman Doyle Sanders of Industry, Texas represented the Beefmaster breed at the 2014 United States Livestock Genetics Export, Inc., (USLGE) conference. The conference was held February 19-21 in Kansas City, Mo.
For several years, USLGE has provided the funding for BBU’s international committee on a cost sharing basis. We dedicate manpower and staff costs and under the USDA they provide our funding. BBU does not fund anything to the International Committee and BBU members sponsor the efforts to provide the annual dues to USLGE then we request funding for programs in foreign countries. The annual dues are about $5,000 and the International Committee receives about $40,000 per year for travel and reverse missions to promoting the Beefmaster breed internationally.
The purpose of this trip was to present the 2015 USLGE Budget Request for discussion among the beef breed members and compare programs for 2014 and 2015. Due to delay of the Farm Bill, the 2014 funding will be delayed until late March 2014. BBU was able to clarify how to handle expenses for the Houston Livestock Show planned out of the 2014 funding request. Additional assistance was also clarified for Colombia and Thailand.
BBU funding requests far exceed other beef breeds such as Charolais, Simmental, Brangus, and Brahman. Actual awards are in line with these other breeds. Sanders agreed to make realistic adjustments for submission on March 15, 2014. At the same time, Mike Phillips agreed that the World Wide Market Study conducted by BBU’s International Committee has been noted for the effort to focus and modify the previous request formats. Significant new BBU funding for Central Europe was noted with proper justification. The 2015 budget should reflect this justifiable increase and the 2014 award may consider adjustments to allow entry into that region earlier.
Sanders was invited to make a presentation to the USLGE members that followed a marketing report on Turkey that showed professional reports on US FAS progress there since 2009. The Turkey market for live animals focused on just a few head of cattle exported there in 2009 up to over 115,000 head in 2011 and then a decline to date due to competition out of Western Europe. Most of this was dairy cattle – some of which had been intended for beef consumption. To increase market acceptance in Turkey of US cattle, the consultant suggested that they recognize that Holsteins are not suitable for acceptance as a beef animal and beef should be properly presented to the market. They also focused on sending semen and embryos for to help achieve this goal. The report indicated that there are over 14 million head of cattle in Turkey and the country has set a goal of doubling their markets by 2023.
Mike Phillips had suggested that the BBU presentation by Sanders include an introduction to Beefmasters and the beneficial traits our cattle offer to foreign markets. This went over very well with all attending including horse and swine people. The head of the Simmental association said she had no real concept about Beefmasters and can now see why our cattle are increasing in interest in many parts of the world. One horse person from Pennsylvania indicated that he intended to look for some Beefmaster bulls in his region to develop a beef herd on one of his family dairy farms that recently closed milk production. Sanders spoke to the International Brangus representative about what the BBU upgrade program could do for their members.
Mike Phillips introduced Sanders to Dr. Martin Sieber representing US Livestock Export Association who will be escorting a group of five officials representing Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, and Latvia that are scheduled to visit US dairy, swine, and agricultural research stations early in March. The trip will include three days in Houston for the Livestock Show and Rodeo. The US Embassy in Warsaw has recommended that their trip include a visit to Sexing Technologies in Navasota, Texas and to Sanders DBL D BAR ranch in Industry, Texas on March 13, 2104 for a presentation on Beefmaster cattle and display of bulls, cow/calves, and heifer development. This is the only beef venue included in their visit. Sanders has arranged for an Italian rancher near Rome, Italy to discuss his reasons for selecting Beefmasters for his cross breeding with his native purebred Marremano cattle.
The Livestock Export Association met the day before and provided information to the USLGE members regarding USDA exporting changes and the need to coordinate with USDA on overseas shipments. There is also growing concern about potential bans on shipping live animals due to public notice of incidents of cattle being shipped to Russia/Kazakhstan that have had high death and injury rates.
Various state agricultural agencies expressed interest in Beefmaster cattle following Sanders presentation. These included Wyoming, New Mexico, Montana, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Tennessee. Jon Garza from Texas Dept Agriculture offered his assistance to BBU in our international efforts and recognized his cooperation with Billy Welkener in moving cattle into Mexico.
There was much discussion among the beef breeds about returning as a group to Australia in 2015 under USLGE banners for their international conference. BBU has funding included for 2015 for this show for two people to attend.