MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Kansas Department of Agriculture is seeking individuals to participate in a beef genetics trade mission to Costa Rica on April 23-27, 2017. In an effort to increase market opportunities for U.S. and Kansas beef genetics, this program provides an opportunity for Kansas purebred beef cattle producers and allied industry to continue developing relationships with livestock producers in Costa Rica. 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.

Attendees will participate in a field day showcasing calves sired by U.S. Red Angus and Charolais bulls crossed with local Costa Rican Brahman dams in an effort to demonstrate the advantages of heterosis in a tropical climate. Initial data from this project supports the use of U.S. genetics. Attendees will also visit a local research university implementing projects utilizing U.S. beef genetics. Additional opportunities to engage with potential buyers of beef semen and embryos and visit Costa Rican ranches will be arranged as part of the mission. Kansas ranchers and related agribusinesses specializing in producing germplasm qualified for export are invited to participate.

This trade mission is funded in part by the U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc. Selected participants will be eligible for travel stipends for airfare depending upon number of applicants and fund availability. Participants will be responsible for the cost of hotels, meals and other incidental expenses.

Individuals interested in participating should complete the application form available on the KDA website at www.agriculture.ks.gov/international. The application deadline is Monday, March 6, 2017.

For more information, please contact KDA agribusiness development coordinator Billy Brown at billy.brown@ks.gov or 785-564-6752.