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Iowa Checkoff Continues Livestock Support

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 8:01 AM by Iowa Corn

Since 1979, the Iowa Corn Promotion Board has been working with the U.S. Meat Export Federation to increase the consumption of red meat across the globe. In addition, consumption of corn products by livestock continues to be a top market for corn.

In November 2012, Jay Lynch, a farmer from Humboldt, Iowa, was elected to fill the “feedgrains” position on the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) executive committee. This is the second time in recent history the position has been held by an Iowa corn grower. The USMEF executive committee consists of 21 members representing nine industry sectors including beef, veal, pork and lamb production; packing and processing; purveying and trading; oilseeds and feedgrains production; farm organizations and supply and service organizations.

Demand for processed U.S. pork items is increasing in South Korea thanks to tariff relief from the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, which effectively lowers the cost of U.S. pork imports. Curt Mether, a farmer from Logan, Iowa, travelled with a delegation representing Iowa pork and beef producers, the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the U.S. Meat Export Federation. While in Seoul, South Korea, the groups met with U.S. Embassy Representatives, toured a food processing plant, cold storage facility and typical marketplace. Their meetings included South Korean government representatives, the packing industry, as well as Cargill Corporation.

Curt Mether pictured at center with the delegation representing
Iowa pork, beef, and agriculture industries in Korea. Iowa
Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey is also pictured to the
right of US Ambassador Kim.
While pork exports to Korea were sharply lower in 2012, this was forecast because Korea is still recovering from a major foot-and-mouth disease outbreak. Although the export totals were below last year’s $340 million, it still far exceeds the pace of exports to Korea in previous years.

Iowa corn farmer Mether was asked many questions about the drought conditions. “I was able to give a presentation on our crop conditions and I think they were surprised to hear how well our harvest actually went. From meetings with government officials to seeing consumers at the market, the trip was a real eye-opener. I was especially fortunate to travel with our Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey. He is truly an advocate for Iowa agriculture.”  The group ended their travels with a short stop in Japan for more industry meetings and a special reception with David Miller, Agriculture Minister at the American Embassy.

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