Colombian Ambassador Silva Buys MT Beef


(Lewistown, MT) – Montana’s senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus shared two major announcements today while hosting Ambassadors from Australia, Brazil, Colombia, South Korea, and Vietnam in Lewistown.

·First, Baucus announced that Colombian Ambassador Gabriel Silva will purchase 50 head of Montana cattle from McMillan ranch outside of Lewistown, during a tour of the ranch this afternoon.   Ambassador Silva owns and operates a cattle ranch in Colombia.


Tom McMillan and Ambassador Silva seal the deal with a handshake.


·Second, Baucus announced the Australian military will purchase $530,000 worth of Black Hawk maintenance platforms from Lewistown manufacturer Spika Welding. 


“These deals send a strong message that Montana is the place to go for the best quality goods,” Baucus said. “When the Colombian Ambassador chooses Montana cattle for his own personal ranch, it not only supports Montana ranching through that direct sale, it shows the world that Montana beef is 100 percent safe and the best quality around.  And when the Australian military taps a Montana manufacturer to build state of the art platforms that its Army depends on, it tells the world Montana is the place to buy when you need to buy the best.


“I can’t thank the McMillan’s enough for their hospitality today.  And Spika’s skill and tenacity in turning handshakes into deals is a shining example for all Montana business owners.”


Cattle Sale with Colombia Ambassador Silva

As Chairman of the Senate Committee that oversees trade, Baucus has consistently fought to open global markets for Montana beef, and he worked closely with Montana Stockgrowers to broker this sale.


The goal is to secure the immediate economic benefit for Montana, and also to send a message that will hopefully open the door to more American beef sales to Colombia and other countries with similar bans.


During the 2010 Ambassadors tour, Baucus brokered a partnership between Montana ranchers and Chilean wine makers to promote beef and wine together. As a result, Chile went from completely banning all ages and cuts of American beef to full market access. Learn more HERE.

More than 50 percent of Montana’s economy is tied to agriculture – which equates to one in five jobs.   And cattle/calve sales account for about 35 percent of total agriculture receipts.


Spika Welding & Manufacturing

In 2001, Tom and Carol Spika started Spika Welding & Manufacturing, which engineers and builds state of the art aviation maintenance platforms for military and civilian use.  In 2008, they moved from the ranch to Lewistown, where they employ 20-25 full-and part-time workers.  Spika exports their high-quality platforms around the globe, and they accompanied Baucus on his trade mission to Colombia and Brazil in 2011. 


2012 Ambassadors Tour

As head of the Senate committee with sole jurisdiction over international trade, Baucus is leading five ambassadors from around the world on a tour of Montana this week to help businesses create jobs through trade. More information on the tour is available HERE.


Story provided by

Posted by John Walton ©Northern Ag Network

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x