Jan 9, 2014 1:38 PM by David Randall

When cows fly

Crews at the North Dakota's Fargo Jet Center spent the afternoon loading some unusual passengers.

These travelers are just some of many being shipped to a country looking to beef up their protein intake...literally.

"We're shipping' 171 registered Angus to Kazakhstan," says Global Beef Co-Owner Dan Price.

But before they can leave, there's a lot of work to be done.

"There's usually, between three and five cows per crate. We have to actually load them," says Fargo Jet Center Marketing Vice President Darren Hall

It takes a lot of planning and strategizing to load thousands of pounds of cow cargo.

"We'll take them over to weigh them," says Hall. "They have to know what position that crate will go in the airplane so it stays within its weight and balance," he says.

It's a giant mooing puzzle; staying organized to prevent a cattle kerfuffle.

"There's a load plan and it's provided by the load operator. In this case it's Atlas Airlines," says Hall.

Then it's time to get the beef on board.

"We take care of moving the cows around, loading them onto the airplane and then we lock everything down so it's secure," he says.

It's been a long road getting here. The cows traveled from Bismarck, where they had multiple health tests and a 21-day quarantine.

"Then they come here and they get inspected with their RFID tags," says Price.

Their passport for the long journey ahead.

"The demand for cattle in Kazakhstan is they want to develop their cattle industry and they want to start out with the best genetics" says Price.

Price says that this shipment is just one of 2,800 cattle that will be sent to Kazakhstan. The heifers will welcome their new calves to the ranch in May.



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