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Outgoing USMEF chair looks back on 2020

IARN — The US Meat Export Federation’s outgoing chair recently reflected on the organization’s challenging yet rewarding year.

Idaho cattle feeder Cevin Jones is wrapping up his one-year term as chair of USMEF. Jones says that while the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted many of USMEF’s planned promotional activities in 2020 and impacted demand in many markets, the organization found new and innovative ways to meet the needs of international customers and collaborate with industry partners.

“The COVID disruptions have had a very big impact on our markets no doubt,” Jones said. “We’ve had to move from a lot of face-to-face trade shows and in-person visits to more virtual. With the online presence that we’ve now got, we’ve made a big push. I think that’s one of the big things we’ve done as USMEF that has been really successful not only now but into the future. We’ve had to adapt as an organization, and I think that moving forward will strengthen us.”

Jones also thanked USMEF members and funding sources, who cover a wide range of agricultural sectors, for their unwavering commitment to international marketing, even in a difficult global business climate.

“There’s still lots of support from the industry out there for those markets and expanded international trade,” Jones said. “When you look at 97 percent of the world’s population lives outside of the US borders, it’s very important that we continue to focus on those markets and where can move our products and create a profitable environment for producers all over.”

Jones will complete his term as USMEF chair at the upcoming USMEF Strategic Planning Conference, which will be held virtually Nov. 10-13. He will be succeeded by Pat Binger of Wichita, Kan., who directs a network of overseas offices for Cargill Protein Group.

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Meat Export Federation

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