• The article argues that the spread of scientific information is not always enough to ensure the success of the production of any particular country in a global market. In particular, there were significant barriers to the introduction of improved livestock raising in nineteenth century Russia. Although agricultural societies, which were voluntary associations of Russian nobles, carried out substantive work to disseminate scientific livestock raising in Russia, global success on the wool market was transient. Understanding the interplay between domestic and global markets is key to a deeper understanding of the challenges of Russian agriculture.