Montana rancher Turk Stovall, just back from a trade mission to Taiwan with Montana's Governor, joined us in our radio studios Monday morning. Stovall is now the 2nd Vice President for the Montana Stockgrowers Association.

The Big Sky Business Journal's Evelyn Pyburn shared the following info following a trade delegation trip to Taiwan led by Governor Greg Gianforte (R-MT). The governor met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to establish a key partnership in seeking new markets for Montana’s photonics industry.

Big Sky Business Journal: Montana has one of the highest concentrations per capita of optics, photonics and quantum computing companies in the U.S. The global industry is expected to grow to nearly $2 trillion by 2025. The Governor was accompanied with a delegation consisting of representatives from agricultural, manufacturing, photonics and bioscience industries on the six day trip. The U.S. Wheat Associates met with the Taiwan Flour Miller Association, the main importer of Montana wheat. Wheat is Montana’s largest export to Taiwan, totaling $32 million. They also import $16 million of Montana beef.

Turk Stovall said that there was one overlying factor during the Montana delegation's visit to Taiwan.

Turk Stovall: Taiwan knows that Montana raises really high quality agricultural products. And that's from our wheat and our barley as well as our beef. And we did get some data to show that, you know one time rice was the overwhelming biggest grain consumed there. And now, actually, that's been taken over by US wheat by- so now 55% of the consumption is US wheat, and by and large that's a lot of Montana wheat.

When it comes to beef, Stovall shared a great story about meeting with Jack Lee and his son Hank with the food import powerhouse Mayfull.

Turk Stovall: We just wer talking about the quality of the US beef product. We talked about our presence in the country. We talked about the US Meat Export Federation, we talked about checkoff- US checkoff dollars are coming in and helping present those products and give different options. But we did have a just a really unique discovery as we were sitting with Hank and the Governor and Jack- and also Director Christy Clark was there as well- as we're saying, hey, where do you think your meat comes from? Well, Hank showed me a picture of a plant that he was just visiting, and it was actually the True West Plant in Jerome, Idaho. And it just so happens, our feed yard in in Shepherd is one of the big suppliers of the True West Plant in Jerome, Idaho. So then we made the complete connection since all of the cattle that come through our feed yard are all from Montana ranches.

For fun, we also talked with Turk about being a celebrity in Taiwan with his cowboy hat on. Turk also told us how the tour busses had karaoke machines on them. Who is Montana's top talent on the karaoke machine? Find out in the full interview below.

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