BOERNE, Texas – Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) and DBL D BAR Beefmaster Ranch, Industry/New Ulm, Texas have successfully delivered 67 Beefmaster embryos to Kafkas University in Kars, Turkey. The embryos will be used to develop the foundation Turkish Beefmaster herd for crossbreeding with other native cattle such as; European Limousin, Charolais, Simmental and various breeds of dairy cattle. After four years of dedicated assistance from the Ankara Office of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and the U.S. Embassy Agricultural Attaché, this project is now in full operation.
On Monday, January 18 the delivery was confirmed by Sinem Duyum, Agricultural Specialist in the Office of Agricultural Affairs at the U.S Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.
“The Beefmaster embryos have just arrived in Istanbul and the shipment was successfully cleared from the Istanbul Airport custom,” said Duyum.
The Turkish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MinFAL) granted final import permit approval under European Union (EU) regulations. This will allow a new Beefmaster project to proceed under the guidance of Dr. Yavuz Ozturkler, Veterinary & Animal Science Department Professor at Kafkas University in the Kars Province of Eastern Turkey.
“I would like to express my sincere special gratitude to Mr. Doyle Sanders and the BBU organization for providing a valuable grant to our university of these embryos,” said Öztürkler.
Marketing and education of the Beefmaster breed to Turkish agricultural leaders first started in 2016. The United States Livestock Genetics Export (USLGE) assisted BBU in funding articles and presentations to educate the Turkish beef industry on American beef genetics. This included focus missions to Texas for senior MinFAL officials and key veterinary geneticists. These missions included a delegation to the Texas A&M University Beef Cattle Short Course, visits to feedlots, packing plants and genetic collection centers in Texas. Other European Beefmaster breeders helped with field days near Rome, Italy to display Beefmaster cattle to key Turkish cattlemen, while discussing potential Beefmaster benefits for Turkey. Dr. Robert Wells, Noble Research Institute; and Dr. Joe Paschal, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension also assisted in educating the Turkish cattlemen.
In 2018, the Turkish Red Meat Producers Association board of directors recommended that Beefmaster become the Turkey national beef cattle breed. The membership, along with the Turkish Minister of Agriculture, accepted this recommendation for the industry’s future with Beefmaster cattle. Kafkas University agreed to manage the project of establishing the foundation herd in Kars. As the Beefmaster herd develops, their genetics will become distributed to other parts of Turkey to demonstrate adaptability to severely harsh environments and to educate Turkish farmers on the expected benefits of the Beefmaster breed in Turkey’s agricultural atmosphere. USDA FAS Ankara will monitor and report project progress.
While this project progresses in Turkey, DBL D BAR Beefmaster Ranch and BBU will continue to support these Turkish agricultural leaders, cattlemen and the surrounding regions of Europe and Asia.
“We look forward to seeing Beefmaster calves on the ground in Turkey by the end of 2021,” said Sanders.
Special thanks to Dr. Anne Bea Kulp, Kulp Genetics in Manheim, Penn., who supervised the collection and processing of these EU qualified embryos at OvaGenix and completed the documentation for export. The genetics import firm of Anadolu Hayvancilik in Istanbul coordinated with the Turkish MinFAL and managed the tank import procedures through final customs clearance and delivery to Kafkas University. Sinem Duyum helped clear the hurdles for final customs acceptance, which officially allowed Beefmaster genetics to make their debut in Turkey.
For more information about Beefmaster Breeders United and its international program please contact the BBU office at 210-732-3132 or visit www.beefmasters.org/international.