MANHATTAN, Kan. — In late July, the Kansas Department of Agriculture participated in a trade mission to Argentina, where the team attended the La Rural 2018 Exhibition. La Rural has become the most prominent livestock show in Argentina, with more than one million people in attendance. The show supports over 400 commercial exhibitors and 4,500 head of livestock, while acting as the meeting point for producers, professionals and technicians from Argentina and the world.
Representing Kansas on the trade mission were: Lynn Ferguson, Ferguson Angus; Craig Iwanski DVM, Central Veterinary Services and JC Ranch LLC; and Shirley Acedo, KDA agribusiness development coordinator.
The team had the opportunity to see firsthand beef cattle genetics at La Argentina Ranch in Coronel Pringles and Cabana Santa Rita in Saladillo. While there, they also toured animal genetics facilities: CIIADO in Darregueira, Las Lilas in San Antonio de Areco, and Alta Ciale in Capitán Sarmiento. While on the trade mission the participants also met Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, who was visiting Argentina for the G20 Summit.
“I was able to learn about Argentinian operations, business plans and the types of genetics they look for,” said Ferguson. “We were able to share our Angus genetics that are already available in their country through Select Sires, as well as prospective genetics currently being developed at our ranch.”
Iwanski agreed. “This trip raised my awareness more to the global market of the beef industry we are in today, and I gained knowledge of how other parts of the world are affected by this business.”
In the past five years, Kansas has exported roughly $3.4 million in goods to Argentina with the top exports being wine and wheat.
“With the new pro-agriculture government in place in Argentina we are seeing the ag sector rebuilding with cattle numbers growing from 48 million to approximately 53 million,” said Acedo. “This trade mission has provided more opportunities for Kansas purebred beef cattle producers and allied industry to develop relationships with livestock producers in Argentina to increase market opportunities for U.S. and Kansas beef genetics.”
The trade mission was organized by KDA and the U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc. KDA strives to encourage and enhance economic growth of the agriculture industry and the Kansas economy by exploring and expanding both domestic and international marketing opportunities. The Kansas Ag Growth Project identified beef as a key component for state growth.