ApHC and at least ten other equine breed associations were represented at the recent annual meeting of the U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc. organization. The group met in San Antonio to discuss export opportunities, hear updates on specific regulatory and policy issues, and to share plans for FY2009. One of the main consensus points was the need for cooperation among breeds to take our message to various international customers. Working together, for example, on seminars and clinics for international judges and show managers, trade show exhibits, and reverse trade missions is a good idea for several reasons.
Funding for internationl marketing is available through USLGE and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Applications for grants are submitted and reviewed before initiatives can be launched.
In FY 2007, the Appaloosa Horse Club has used funds to exhibit at or conduct trade visits in Germany, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and probably a couple of others I’m forgetting. We saw firsthand the benefits of establishing international relationships at last year’s National Show. A number of horses were purchased, the European youth exchange team participated in the show, and additional contacts were made.
Frank Larrabee, ApHC past-president and current chairman of the International Committee, attended the USLGE meeting along with Merida McClanahan and Steve Taylor from the office.
USLGE is a nationwide livestock-specific, not-for-profit, trade association representing the International Market Development interests of the U.S. dairy, beef, sheep, swine and horse breeding industries. Its representation encompasses the embryo and semen industry, livestock export sector, plus leading State Departments of Agriculture from top livestock producing states across the United States.