Montana Developing Beef Genetics Market in Nicaragua With Help of Federal Grant
This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that Montana would be receiving a grant of over $50,000 to develop new markets for beef genetics in Nicaragua. Andy Fjeseth with the Montana Department of Agriculture explains.
"We sent a few ranchers down to Nicaragua last year to kind-of check things out, then we brought a group of Nicaraguan cattlemen up here, back in October," Fjeseth said. "Then we worked with the USDA and we got what's called a 'Quality Samples Grant' and that will kind-f help with the shipping and handling: getting those vials of semen and whatever else down to Nicaragua."
It may sound like a strange relationship, but Fjeseth says the link between Montana and Nicaragua makes a lot of business sense.
"Nicaragua is the largest cattle-producing country down in Central America, so that was an opportunity to kind-of work with folks down in that area. They've been wanting to work on beefing up their genetics, to get more quality meats, and you know, Montana is quite often referred to as the 'seed-stock capital of the world."
Fjeseth says Montana is referred to as the seed-stock capital of the world because of a lot of work by state ranchers in raising hearty cattle that can weather different environments and are resistant to disease.