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 a Russian port city. Financial terms were not made public. The shipment involved less than 50 bulls.
Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd P. Haymore calls 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.
The U.S. began exporting live cattle to Russia in 2008 and now accounts for approximately $10 million of the live cattle business there.