Transplanted North Dakota cattle are thriving in Kazakhstan's cold climate, but many of the former Soviet republic's cowboys are still greenhorns. So it hired Great Plains ranch hands to help out and is sending some of its own to the U.S. for training, a state trade official says.
Dean Gorder, executive director of the North Dakota Trade Office, said about a dozen Kazakh cowboys will visit North Dakota ranches next month for an intensive, two-week crash course in tending cattle.
"There is no classroom work," Gorder says. "It's hands-on working with cows."
About 5,000 Angus and Hereford cows bred to withstand North Dakota's brutally cold winters have been air-freighted to Kazakhstan over the past two years as part of a decade-long effort to rebuild the former Soviet republic's cattle industry.
Most of Kazakhstan's cattle were sold or slaughtered after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and its herd had been reduced from about 35 million animals in the early 1990s to about 2 million.
Gorder, who is returning from Kazakhstan this week, says the country's new cattle herd appears to be thriving. That’s thanks largely to North Dakota's cattle genetics and help from North Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas cowboys hired by the oil-rich country that stretches from Central Asia into Eastern Europe.
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