Fort Worth Stock Show extends hospitality, facilitates exports

Feb 13, 2009
by WLJ
Fort Worth Stock Show extends hospitality, facilitates exports

Giving foreign visitors a warm welcome at the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show can mean big payoffs for area livestock producers looking to sell their animals into foreign markets. The legendary Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo hosts visitors from approximately 60 countries annually, generating business opportunities for Texas ranchers and farmers willing to devote the time and effort to ship their livestock abroad.

This year’s event was no exception as sales of approximately $270,000 worth of American Quarter Horses are pending to buyers in Argentina and Japan as a result of efforts by the Stock Show’s International Committee.

Led by committee member and Texas Department of Agriculture Livestock Marketing Specialist Juan Hernandez, the delegations are winding up negotiations with area Quarter Horse breeders. The horses will be transported to Miami, FL, where they will be exported by charter aircraft.

“Some of the nation’s best Quarter Horses are raised within a short driving distance from Fort Worth,” said International Committee Co-Chairmen Charles Lasater and Lionel Chambers. “We want to go the extra mile and extend our warm Fort Worth hospitality and ensure our foreign guests see the best livestock Texas has to offer.”

The committee’s work was not isolated to the above mentioned countries as many others attended to meet with stock show exhibitors and explore potential purchases. Delegations from Great Britain, Germany, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Mexico also attended with interests in beef cattle, Gypsy horses, Texas Longhorns, and Boer goats. Although the stock show has completed its 24-day run, Hernandez is busy following up with guests, providing additional assistance where needed.

While some foreign visitors are at the stock show solely for recreational purposes, many others arrive for serious business. “Economic development is an important objective for the stock show, thus our International Committee’s efforts to facilitate trade play a very important function,” said Bradford S. Barnes, stock show executive vice president and general manager.

“Having the nation’s best livestock gathered here for 24 days gives our foreign visitors a user-friendly place to meet U.S. producers and, hopefully, purchase livestock.” — WLJ