BY WALKER MILHOAN, YPC Leadership Board
Oro y Plata
Montana’s state motto represents the riches of this great land of the north. Montana has always been well versed in the pioneering spirit and that tradition continues today. Although the jetliner has replaced the covered wagon, the adventurous nature of the states’ inhabitants is continually taking them to the far reaches of the globe in search of making the job of growing food a bit more profitable, less cumbersome, and more interesting.
The Land Down Under…
If you haven’t met a rancher from Montana, just wait around a bit and it’s likely that you just might. From Russia to Africa to Australia, Montana’s beef sector has a grasp on nearly the entire world.
Meet Karoline Rose, founder of Collegiate Stockgrowers at Montana State University. It could be argued that Karoline was the driving force behind the Collegiate Stockgrowers movement all across the country over the last year and a half. Karoline was recently in Australia where she worked on a large beef operation and learned the ways of cattle ranching from an upside-down perspective (that’s a hemispherical joke!).
“There is nothing better than a good set of neighbors. Rural living here is very similar to the US and I love every minute of it. We are knees deep in calves and yesterday Pete and Donna came over and tagged calves with us for 2 hours. The 5 of us worked extremely hard and ended up tagging about 60 calves in 4 hours. Without their help, we wouldn’t have even driven through every paddock.
You can read more about Karoline’s adventures here.
In Russia, Amy Dellera and Jane’a Elke are helping the Stevenson Sputnik Ranch with Artificial Insemination efforts and getting a little taste of what life is like nearly 6,000 miles from the ranch gate. Russia has been a top destination for Montana’s seed stock producers, and since 2010 nearly 44 of the states’ ranchers have sold live cattle or genetics to Asia’s largest country, clearing nearly $20 million in sales. If that isn’t exciting news, what is?
…and in the Middle!
On the African front, yours truly has been to Ghana once already this summer and I will again be returning in August with my brother Trey. Both Trey and myself are undertaking Fellowships as part of Texas Christian University’s – Institute of Ranch Management in an effort to establish relations with Ghanaian businessmen, ranchers, and government officials for the purpose of building a demonstration ranch in the Lower Volta Region of coastal Ghana.
The ranch will be similar to a fully-functioning extension service here in the U.S., and local cattlemen will be able seek assistance, learn production techniques, build livestock budgets, plan grazing rotations, and much more, all through the ranches various fellows that will be attending on a yearly basis. The Institute also plans to send various industry professionals to Ghana with the purpose of providing much needed advice on things such as animal health, genetics, pest control and more.
Back to Montana
So once again, if you haven’t met someone from Montana, wait around for a while and you likely will. As you can see, Montana is representing industry players on a global front. These professionals recognize the the face of a changing global economy, and the importance that will have in the future to the ranchers at home.