International Brangus® Breeders Association (IBBA) Member Relations Specialist Macee Prause attended the United States Livestock Genetics Export (USLGE) Annual Meeting Feb. 21-24 in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Activities throughout the week included training and educational sessions, forums, specie-specific and other outbreak meetings, agricultural tours, and more. Prause said her visit was an educational opportunity regarding the Brangus use of USLGE funding for international promotion and the networking opportunities were outstanding.
“This has been the most concrete report from [the USDA-Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)],” said Wayne Hipsley from the American Miniature Horse Association. “This is the strongest [USGLE attendance] I have seen in 12 years.”
Speaker presentations were made by FAS Deputy Administrator Mark Slupek, Animal Import Export National Director Jack Taniewski, PhD., and USLGE Executive Director Sean Callanan.
Attendees participated in a tour of Santa Teresa and San Geronimo. Prause said participants were given the opportunity to observe the process of moving cattle across the Texas-Mexico border. Here, participants were able to witness the standard procedures and preventative measures from both sides, Mexico and the U.S.
“This crossing accounts for approximately 4,000 head per day that are transferred to the U.S.,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte.
During his “Key Messages to Cooperators” presentation, Slupek said more success stories from USLGE-funded travel are of utmost importance to the USLGE organization.
“Your success is their success. These [success stories] are rolled up and used on a daily basis,” stated Slupek. “The Farm Bill is expiring Sept. 30. Requests will be made against zero dollars going into the 2019 year.”
Additionally, Slupek said a new Farm Bill is being written, and USLGE will push for additional funding. USLGE-funded projects and programs can be considered profitable, because he said every dollar of Market Access Program funding brings seven dollars into the economy.
Taniewski made a presentation on an “Overview and Update of USDA-APHIS – National Import Export Services,” and Callanan led an “Evaluation of USLGE Members’ Activities in Vietnam” presentation.