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Kyrgyz businessman learns from Idaho ranchers

Kyrgyz businessman learns from Idaho ranchers

PINGREE, Idaho - A businessman from a developing Asian country is going the distance.

He wanted to learn how to raise beef from the best in the business, so he traveled to eastern Idaho.

"Cows are great animals," said Azis Sharsheev, who is visiting from Kyrgyzstan.

From those great animals, Sharsheev got a great idea.

"We thought it would be a good idea -- a good goal to export our meat products over to Russia and Kazakhstan and other Baltic countries."

There was just one problem:  Kyrgysztan is not exactly known for its prime beef.

"The difference is that here, the cows are so, like, healthy," Sharsheev said.  "They look very nice,  and they're big."

Sharsheev, who went to college in Washington, D.C., got in touch with some of his American friends.  They suggested he talk to a rancher they knew in Pingree, Idaho.

"I'm not a cowboy guy," Sharsheev joked.  "I'm just a city boy."

Sharsheev grew up in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, which is nearly 6,500 miles from Pingree.

"I'm experiencing the technologies here, I'm experiencing the vaccinations things, I'm experiencing how they're putting the numbers on the ears and I'm experiencing the way how they treat the cows," Sharsheev said.

According to Sharsheev, Kyrgyz farms are a far cry from American ranches.

"Our cows, most of them are inside," Sharsheev said.  "I saw the big, big tractors and they cost like $100,000, and back in my country, we have a former Soviet Union tractor and they cost only $6,000."

Sharsheev looks forward to bringing some new ideas and techniques back to Kyrgyzstan, but not to make a meaty profit for himself.

"My heart (is) back in my country.  I want to do some development and impacting the people and children," Sharsheev said.  "This is the essence of life."

Sharsheev will leave Idaho on Thursday.  Before he heads back to his country, he'll stop in New York City to meet with Kyrgyz leaders and discuss his business plans.

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