Every day feedyards across the High Plains load cattle for shipment on a one-way journey to a processing plant--usually just down the road a ways.
But with the rise of a new middle class worldwide with an increasing appetite for high-quality proteins, that one-way journey may take those cattle halfway around the globe.
Rising export demand
J.J. Jones is the marketing and trade coordinator with the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Kansas is one of the leading states in the nation taking advantage of current export opportunities for live cattle to countries such as Russia and Kazakhstan and other emerging markets.
"We're seeing an increasing middle class around the world," Jones said. "We've all heard that we have to double food production by 2050 to meet the need. We're seeing now an additional 713 million households between 2010 and 2012, according to USDA, achieving middle-class standards worldwide." As those numbers grow, so too does the demand for poultry, seafood, pork and then beef.