Brownback, Kansas Ranchers Travel to Russia, Kazakhstan

By: From 13 News
By: From 13 News

TOPEKA -- Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman and beef producers from across the state are traveling to Russia and Kazakhstan Oct. 6 to17 to promote agriculture trade with those countries.

“Agriculture is our state’s largest industry and a cornerstone of the Kansas economy,” Gov. Brownback said. “I’m looking forward to this opportunity to further expand what the Kansas cattle industry has to offer beyond our state and national borders.”

Steve Irsik of Irsik Equities in Garden City, Mark Brunner of Cow Camp Ranch in Ramona and Thad Geiger of Geiger Farms in Troy are the beef producers traveling to Russia and Kazakhstan to market Kansas purebred beef cattle on behalf of Kansas ranchers. Irsik, Brunner and Geiger, along with counterparts from Colorado and Montana, were selected to travel on a 12-day mission led jointly by the Kansas, Colorado and Montana Departments of Agriculture.

“Progressive producers need to continually expand their horizons,” Irsik said. “In today’s global economy, we need to think more globally. There are a whole lot of people in the world that could benefit from good, Kansas livestock genetics as well as our expertise.”

In addition to livestock genetics, the Kansans making the trip will focus on marketing feed ingredients, animal health goods and services, agricultural equipment and agricultural education.

While in Russia, the group will attend the Golden Autumn Livestock Exposition, visit with Russian beef producers about U.S. beef genetics and tour farms/ranches in the regions to see first-hand what Russian beef production looks like. The delegation will spend time in the city of Moscow and the Tyumen region of Russia.

The delegation also will travel to Astana, Kazakhstan Oct. 11 and 12 for meetings about increasing agricultural exports from Kansas to Kazakhstan.

"I'm excited to be a part of this opportunity to grow the market for Kansas beef genetics and agriculture products in Russia and Kazakhstan," Sec. Rodman said. "A strong focus on international trade is beneficial for Kansas and our agriculture sector in particular."

This trip follows two Kansas Department of Commerce trips to Russia on behalf of Kansas ranchers in 2010. This is the State of Kansas’ first trade mission trip to Kazakhstan in recent years.

This mission trip was made possible by U.S. Department of Agriculture Market Access Program funding through U.S. Livestock Genetic Export (USLGE.) To learn more about USLGE and Market Access Program funding, visit

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