Montana Ag: Montana beef cattle genetics headed for Nicaragua

BILLINGS- Montana continues to be home to some of the highest quality cattle and beef in the world. And soon Montana ranchers will be helping to increase the genetic power of cattle herds in Central America.

“If you look around, you can see the genetics you all have over here. So, we’re trying to introduce to our country” said Alvaro Vargas, president of the Nicaragua Livestock Federation.

That’s why last fall with the help of the Montana Department of Agriculture, a group of Nicaraguan cattlemen toured several Montana ranches and even the NILE Stock Show in Billings.

“Nicaragua is the biggest beef producer in Central America. We have 5.4 million head of cows over there. And we have a problem with quality meat,” Vargas said.

Montana has long been known as the seedstock capitol of the world. And soon some of these high-quality Charolais and Red Angus genetics could be headed to Central America.

“The Department of Agriculture here in Montana has done a great job of showing us everything you all have here. And now what we’re going to do is start importing straws of semen from Montana back to our country, so we can introduce this type of genetics back there,” Vargas said.

Montana ranchers are also excited about the opportunity and what their beef cattle genetics can offer.

“Conversion on cattle and cross-breeding, that was a big thing for them. They’re dealing with Brahma cattle and want to be able to cross-breed to supply higher quality meat to their country,” said Cole Brevig of Brevig Charolais in Lewistown.

The recent trade mission to Montana was a success with the first shipment of 3,500 straws of Montana beef cattle semen will be shipped to Nicaragua in March.

-Russell Nemetz reporting for Montana Ag and MTN