Kansas works to strengthen agricultural ties with Kazakhstan
A delegation of nine leaders from the Kazakhstan livestock sector have wrapped up a two-week tour of the Kansas agricultural industry.
The tour, part of the two-year Kazakhstan Business Connections Program funded by the United States Agency for International Development and hosted by CNFA, a Washington, D.C., based non-partisan, non-profit organization focused on international agricultural development, provided opportunities to learn about Kansas agricultural production practices, to network with industry and governmental leaders and to attend educational sessions at Kansas State University.
CNFA worked closely with the Kansas Department of Agriculture to plan the tour. The group, which included businessmen and women in the beef and poultry sectors and one governmental representative, arrived in Nebraska on Sept. 10 and spent two days in Nebraska before arriving in Kansas. The group will travel to Washington, D.C., prior to returning to Kazakhstan September 30.
While in Kansas, the delegation visited agricultural implement manufacturers and meat production, processing and marketing facilities and toured family-owned livestock farms and ranches. The group also spent several days on the campus of Kansas State University attending presentations and educational events hosted by departments within the K-State College of Agriculture. The Kazakh's tour of Kansas culminated with a dinner hosted by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, who participated in a trade mission to Kazakhstan in October 2011.
"In Kansas, our No. 1 industry is agriculture and our farmers, ranchers and agribusiness leaders know that developing strong relationships with international partners, like this delegation from Kazakhstan, is paramount to future successes for Kansas agriculture," said Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman. "The Kazakh delegation had a one-of-kind opportunity to learn directly from well-respected leaders within various sectors of Kansas agriculture and those of us from Kansas learned a great deal from them as well. This tour will hopefully help Kazakhstan become more competitive in agricultural production and will provide opportunities for Kansans to market agricultural products in the Kazakh marketplace."
Kazakhstan is working to increase livestock production in the nation. Cattle production in Kazakhstan decreased after the collapse of the Soviet Union but has been increasing in recent years. The Government of Kazakhstan set a goal of being a beef exporter by 2020 and has already invested in improved cattle production facilities and live cattle imports, including some from the United States.
The Agricultural Marketing Team at the Kansas Department of Agriculture works to expand opportunities for international trade of Kansas agricultural products by hosting international delegations. The team also leads international trade missions for Kansas farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses to develop new and strengthen existing trade relationships with buyers of Kansas products. To learn more about international agricultural marketing efforts in Kansas, contact the Agricultural Marketing team at the Kansas Department of Agriculture.