Monday, June 6, 2011

Agro 2011 - Livestock

Twelve years ago there were several hundred cattle and other livestock on display at the show.  There was no judging per se.  The cattle were there to advertise the various (at that time government-owned) genetics farms and AI centres.  Almost all of them have been privatized one way or another. 

The Main Selection Centre of Ukraine at Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky was once flagship of the Ukraine SSR Genetics Farms and AI Centres.  Under  Director (the late) Irina Volenko the farm had several hundred beef cattle of five breeds and one of the best Holstein breeding herds. At one time they had a bull-stud in partnership with Semex Canada.  (You would love to hear the Semex version of events, I am sure) MSCU sold semen all over Ukraine; ran dairy and beef production schools, AI schools, ET schools, kept dairy and beef bull production records for Ukraine.  I was there so often from 1997 to 2005 that the professional staff were like family. 

MSCU was one of three Ukrainian partners in the 1999-2002 Beef Forage Development Project funded by CIDA, implemented by Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP).  My Tanya was a student in the first three week beef and forage school we taught at MSCU.

MSCU is still government owned but does virtually nothing.  It exists in name only.  The beef cattle are all gone.  the dairy cattle sold and the facilities leased.  All my friends are gone to new jobs.  Irina's daughter Svitlana started a genetics company and imports dairy semen from an American company.  She employs several of my friends.  My friend Volodya started his own genetics company and imports dairy and beef semen from another American company.  Both are doing well. Both companies had booths at the show.

There were maybe six farms with beef cattle at the show, to promote themselves.  There really is no market for beef bulls in the sense we would understand in North America.  There are only about 50,000 beef cattle in Ukraine and most of those are on (highly subsidized) purebred farms.

Charolais Bull (or Polissia breed; don't ask)
Sign promoting one farm's cattle
Limousin bull from France
Young Limousin bulls
Charolais bulls


  1. I know nothing about cows, bulls or .. well, most farm animals. But those are some mighty good looking bulls. They look very soft and fuzzy and snuggly. This is probably why I don't live on a farm.

  2. Greek mythology mentions someone like you, Violet. I think her name was Pasiphae. Probably a good thing you don't live on a farm.


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