In February 2018, the Kansas Department of Agriculture hosted a trade mission to Russia, to spur trade opportunities through strategic visits throughout the agricultural sector. The trade mission was coordinated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Trade Office (USDA ATO) in Russia. The team representing Kansas on the trade mission included Kerry Wefald, Suzanne Ryan-Numrich and Shirley Acedo, members of KDA’s agriculture advocacy, marketing and outreach team, and Thad Geiger, Geiger Cattle Inc.
The team attended Russia’s leading exhibition for animal husbandry and animal breeding, AgroFarm, where they interacted with breeders and genetic companies to promote the use of purebred U.S. livestock genetics. The group also met with Miratorg, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the Deputy Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg, and made visits to several dairy operations and Cherkizovo’s Mosselprom poultry processing operation outside of Moscow.
“While sanctions have slowed trade with Russia considerably, we were able to identify additional market opportunities for Kansas farms, ranches and agribusinesses during this trade mission,” said Ryan-Numrich, who serves as the international trade director at KDA. “We were excited about what we saw and hope to continue to build our longstanding trade relationship with Russia.”
In 2016, Kansas exported more than $2.1 million worth of agricultural commodities to Russia and nearly $3.5 billion worth of agricultural commodities to 102 countries around the world.
“Russia’s agricultural output continues to grow and they have tremendous potential in this sector of their economy,” said Geiger. “Obviously, there are policy challenges, capital concerns and climate conditions to deal with, but potential is strong. In building trade relationships with Russia, we not only create new markets for Kansas agriculture, we also build sustainable relationships between the United States and Russia.”
The trade mission was sponsored by KDA with assistance from the USDA ATO in Moscow and with funds from U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc.
KDA strives to encourage and enhance economic growth of the agriculture industry and the Kansas economy by exploring and expanding both domestic and international marketing opportunities.