Virginia has embarked on a new frontier in its ever-expanding agricultural export program, sending the first direct export of Holstein bulls to Russia.
Gov. Bob McDonnell said Monday the bulls from a suburban Richmond farm have been shipped to Russian port city Novorossiysk. Financial terms were not made public. The shipment involved fewer than 50 bulls.
“I have made increasing agricultural exports from Virginia a key component of my administration’s overall economic development and job creation plans,” McDonnell said.
Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd P. Haymore called the export deal good for Virginia because Russia is rapidly becoming one of the most active markets for live cattle.
The Russian market for live animal imports is currently valued at more than $300 million annually and growing.
“I’m pleased that Virginia’s dairy cattle industry has finally entered Russia, already one of Virginia’s top agricultural export markets,” McDonnell said.
The U.S. began exporting live cattle to Russia in 2008 and now accounts for approximately $10 million of the live cattle business there.