During the 2012 Missouri Governor's Conference on Agriculture a panel discussion was moderated by Tony Clayton of Clayton Agri-Marketing and President of the Livestock Exporters Association of the USA.
Clayton says that livestock is a very important and growing sector of agricultural exports.
"You can actually throw a dart at the map an hit some sort of interest in livestock," Clayton said. "Whether it be beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, horses, sheep or goats as the world turns toward a more protein based diet."
A tremendous market for U.S. livestock will be Russia. There next farm bill, which is slated to run from 2013 to 2020 has a provision in it that says if you own land you must have livestock on it. Clayton says that already they are seeing large numbers of cattle, dairy as well as traditional breeds of Angus, Hereford and Charolais moving to Russia.
From Russia to Ukraine and Belarus, Clayton says he expects that whole area to grow as an export market for the U.S.
"Kazakhstan is an example," Clayton said. "There was probably twelve 747s of beef cattle flown out of the United States in the last 60 days. And they are a country that says they are going to import 75,000 head of cattle over the next five years and we see that as a major market for U.S. genetics."
Clayton says even though Russia is kind of like the last frontier, there will still be other markets for livestock emerging."You've seen countries like Egypt that have had turmoil, you've seen Libya have turmoil and government regime changes," Clayton said. "This past week we had our first call from Libya of people trying to develop a dairy industry there after they've had a regime turnover. People have to eat; that's the one thing we have in common with people around the world and I just think you're going to see the interest in animal genetics from this country grow and grow."