The Roundup -

MT Producers And Dept. Of Agriculture To Host Inbound Australian Beef Cattle Trade Mission


Montana cattle producers and the Montana Department of Agriculture will be hosting an inbound Australian beef cattle trade mission for six days starting on March 10. The trade mission will work to maintain the strong relationship between Australian and Montanan beef producers, particularly with Montana’s high-quality beef genetic seedstock.

“We had a productive trade mission attending the Beef Australia trade show two years ago and piqued their interest in Montana’s high-quality beef seedstock. This is an opportunity to show them our quality firsthand,” said Bruce Thomas, owner of Thomas Herefords in Gold Creek, MT.

Australia is the 12th largest economy in the world, which normalized a free trade agreement with the United States in 2005. Although Australia is a large beef producer in its own right, beef genetics trade between both countries has been robust, with Australia ranking as the second largest Montana beef semen purchaser in the world. Estimates from USDA indicate that Australia will continue to be a large shipper of live slaughter animals to Southeast Asia, which can be supported by the U.S. seedstock industry by marketing and selling high-quality genetics, via semen and embryos, to Australia.

“Getting foreign trade partners to visit is a great opportunity for Montana producers. It allows us to showcase our high-quality genetics and good management practices.  These trade missions help keep Montana’s cattle producers at the forefront of the beef export industry,” said Marty Earnheart, Marketing Officer for the department.

After developing a dialogue at Beef Australia two years ago, 10 Australian cattle producers will visit Hereford ranching operations in Valier, Willow Creek, Manhattan, and Absarokee before visiting ORIGen in Huntley. The Australian buyers will be arriving in Missoula before traveling across the state.

The mission was funded through a U.S. Livestock Genetic Export, Inc. (USLGE) grant that will pay for their hotel and ground transportation, with airfare and meals part of the Australian producers’ responsibility. USLGE is a not-for-profit, nationwide trade association that represents the international marketing interests of the dairy, beef, sheep, swine, and horse breeding industries.

The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries.  For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit


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