Texas cattle rancher Michael Vieira seeking investment opportunities St Vincent
Michael Vieira of A Legacy Genetics is currently in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to assess opportunities to increase beef production in the country. Vieira has been involved in the beef industry for 40 years and maintains good relationships with major US beef players.
The Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar and Vieira have visited several cattle ranchers over the past two days. Vieira said he was indeed impressed with the quality of livestock on the island.
Vieira became FFA (Future Farmers of America) Chapter President for two years, FFA Secretary of District IV, won numerous awards and was the highest rated individual in several cattle judging contests in State.
During his teenage years, he built the first state-licensed squab and rabbit processing facility in Washington State, developed his own squab market, and supplied squabs from his own breeding stock. This project earned him the coveted Star State Argi-Businessman Award.
After graduating from high school, he went to work full time as a shepherd on a dairy farm which he handled before graduation, but he still had a desire to start his own dairy farm, so he continued to work, taking a job as assistant manager of a farm with 250,000 laying hens. While working on the egg farm, he was able to purchase his first small farm of 20 acres.
The farm had a former milking parlour, which he immediately set about remodeling, in order to begin milking the goats and bottling Grade ‘A’ raw goat’s milk. He continued to raise beef cattle and purchased a custom meat processing facility.
The facility processed beef, lamb, goat, pork and allowed him to market his grass-fed beef directly to the consumer. He made sausages, jerky, bacon, smoked ham, cut and packaged all custom cuts and orders. After several years of cutting meat, he was called back to the dairy farm.
This time, he decided that he also had to take charge of the marketing and processing aspects. This required him not only to move to a larger market and build a new salon, but also to build a federally licensed milk processing plant and drug testing lab. After years of growing the business and developing a strong new milk market, he decided to sell again.
The local farm-fresh produce market he had developed was a highly sought-after and valuable business. The last few years on the farm, he developed an interest that later turned into a passion for tropical bovine genetics. Livestock can be successful and profitable in the hottest, most tropical regions of the world.
His company A Legacy Genetics continues to be recognized around the world. Through these global connections, he was able to purchase the world’s first homozygous “slick” Holstein bull from Puerto Rico. This bull put Legacy Genetics on the map. Shortly after, the three largest dairy publications published an article on “Sinba”.
Puerto Rico also received a ton of notoriety! Around the same time, the University of Florida announced that it would sell its Ona White Angus, a breed of beef cattle developed by the university over the past 50 years to be heat tolerant while retaining a high percentage of Angus. traits for which Angus is best known. Superior taste and tenderness, easy calving, growth and hardiness. It is well known that “Angus, are the race of business”.
In 2016, A Legacy Genetics was able to make a deal with the university and purchased the entire Ona White Angus herd. Since then he has sold semen all over the world, including much of Central and South America, the Caribbean, Australia and Thailand. Wanting to focus on A Legacy and its specialized bovine genetics, his family purchased a ranch south of Houston, Texas. Houston is the hub of this type of genetics.
Ernesto is a senior reporter at the St. Vincent Times. Having worked in the media for 16 years, he focuses on local and international issues. He wrote for the New York Times and reported for the BBC during the La Soufrière eruptions of 2021.
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