|By CELESTE BAUMGARTNER
QUERETARO, Mexico — On a trade mission to generate new business for Ohio, Ohio Gov. Bob Taft and ODA Director Fred Dailey visited a progressive Mexican dairy farm, which uses Ohio genetics.
They were joined by Duane Logan, marketing director of COBA/Select Sires, which sells genetics to the farm.
“We had a great visit to an exceptionally productive dairy farm owned by the Rubin family,” Taft said. “The family has about 2,400 head of dairy cows on two farms. These herds are averaging about 25,000 pounds of milk per cow per year.
“It was an impressive operation and an example of how progressive they are right now.”
The most important thing from an Ohio point of view is that they are so successful because they are buying the best breeding genetics from COBA/Select Sires, Ohio, Taft said.
“Just to show the ingenuity of the Rubins and other farmers down there, a number of years ago they created their own marketing cooperative called Alpura. It’s the most respected, premium brand of milk throughout Mexico. They command a high price for their milk product.”
Logan said that COBA/Select Sires has been marketing genetics to Mexico since the early 1960s but more diligently in the past 10 years.
They did more than $2 million worth of business in Mexico last year. He called the Rubins one of their “good and loyal customers.”
Logan said COBA/Select Sire’s largest Mexican distributor was Semen y Embriones, part of the Alpura Milk Co.
“We wanted the governor to learn about the dairy business in Mexico as well as how we serve those dairymen,” Logan said. “And we wanted to make the governor and ODA aware of continued potential trade business in Mexico for all agricultural products.”
Also, the delegation enjoyed lunch at the Rubin farm. Taft said they were served a new product, milk drinks flavored with banana, pineapple, peach and other tropical fruits.
Other representatives on the trade mission were from the Brenneman Lumber Co., from Mount Vernon, and Yoder Lumber Co. from Millersburg, marketing Ohio hardwoods to furniture companies and other businesses.
Bill Kennedy, from Salem, Ohio, CEO and registered pharmacist, who developed a product originally for cows’ udders but now marketed for people, called Udderly SMooth® Body Cream, was on the trade mission promoting this product.
It is sold in Wal-Mart and other stores in the United States, packaged in an eye-catching black and white Holstein design.
Dailey said during the mission the group met with the ministers of agriculture from the different states they were in, and those ministers were cooperative.
“NAFTA has been a boon for both the United States and Mexico and Canada. Mexico has become our second-largest customer (nearly $2.4 billion in sales),” Dailey said. “Canada is our largest customer, and the trade hasn’t been one sided; it’s been even across the board. All sides have benefited from it.”
This farm news was published in the Oct. 25, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.