As we bid farewell to 2023 and stand on the threshold of a new year, SMART Reproduction takes a moment to reflect. We celebrate on the milestones, partnerships, and challenges that defined our journey over the past twelve months. In this blog post, we share our experiences, celebrate our successes, and express our gratitude. All of these are sent to the dedicated breeders and industry partners who have played a crucial role in our growth.
The year kicked off with a joyous celebration in the snow, symbolizing the freshness and excitement that lay ahead. Concurrently, we marked a historic moment in Arkansas history. This being the inauguration of the state’s first female governor, setting the tone of empowerment and progress.
Communications at the Forefront
One of the highlights of early 2023 was our CEO, Brittany Scott’s, participation in the Farm Bureaus Women Communications Bootcamp in Washington, DC. This intensive 3-day event provided a platform for honing public speaking skills and engaging in meaningful discussions with lawmakers. The experience was transformative, reinforcing our commitment to effective communication and advocacy within the agricultural community.
The momentum continued as we attended the annual USLGE meeting in Fort Worth, Texas. Representing the ovine and caprine industries, SMART Reproduction forged meaningful connections with industry leaders, governmental bodies, and fellow breeders. This event paved the way for the first public/private international inbound trade mission. One that focusing on the exchange of sheep and goat breeding technologies.
In the second quarter, we hosted the Arkansas District Export Council quarterly meeting, reaffirming our commitment to supporting exporting companies. The Arkansas DEC, a group of experienced exporters appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, played a crucial role in sharing specialized knowledge with businesses looking to expand into new markets.
Opening New Markets
A significant milestone in 2023 was the negotiation of an updated bilateral health agreement with Brazil’s Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA). Thanks to this agreement, SMART Reproduction achieved the historic feat of sending the first U.S.-sourced caprine semen shipment to Brazil in over two decades, opening new avenues for collaboration and trade.
The collaboration with Kenya in the form of the Missouri Department of Agriculture and SMART Reproduction Kenya Small Ruminants Inbound Trade Mission marked another historic achievement. This partnership brought together research scientists from the Kenya Agricultural Livestock Organization (KALRO) and the CEO of the Kenya Meat & Livestock Exporters Industry Council. The tour encompassed visits to SMART Reproduction facilities, research labs, and private producers, fostering knowledge exchange and mutual growth.
CEO Brittany Scott’s participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture APHIS Ruminant Health Collaboration Trade Mission in Algeria showcased the commitment to global cooperation. Advocating for the quality performance genetics of American producers, Scott engaged with Algerian industry leader. She personally promoted an exchange of knowledge and expertise.
The ADGA Convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma, provided a platform for SMART Reproduction and Delta Livestock Diagnostics to participate in the American Dairy Goat Association National Convention. This annual gathering facilitated discussions and idea exchange among breeders and industry professionals, contributing to advancements in the dairy goat sector.
Winning Big in Little Rock
The Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation relaunched the Ag Innovation Challenge this year in recognition of the advancements within the state. This statewide business competition showcases Arkansas startups developing innovative solutions to address challenges facing Arkansas farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. SMART Reproduction competed and earned semi-finalist in the Arkansas Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge and won runner-up (2nd place overall)!
Our team is humbled to have competed against some of Arkansas’s best and brightest agricultural companies. Everyone involved was truly amazed by the innovative solutions they provide and look forward to next year’s competition. We would like to thank ArFB and the Farm Credit Association of Arkansas for sponsoring this competition, which gave us a powerful platform to showcase the big things our small businesses are doing to help our farmers and ranchers be more productive and sustainable.
We look forward to the opportunities and challenges that 2024 will bring. SMART Reproduction remains committed to pushing boundaries, fostering partnerships, and contributing to the sustainable growth of the agricultural industry. Here’s to another year of growth, learning, and shared success!