RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Beef cattle from Virginia are headed to Canada under a new export deal.

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the first direct shipments of cattle from the state to Canada on Thursday while traveling on a trade and marketing mission in Quebec.

McDonnell's office says the export business opens the door for Virginia producers to sell directly to beef cattle operators in eastern Canada without having to ship to middlemen in other states first. Five shipments are part of the new export deal. Officials say at current market prices, the value of each shipment of cattle is in excess of $75,000.

The export deal follows the January news of Virginia's first direct exports of dairy cattle to Russia.

McDonnell says the deals help support job creation and economic development opportunities across Virginia.

Copyright 2012 The AP.

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