This week USMEF Vice President for Global Marketing Dan Halstrom addressed the 61st Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course in College Station, Texas. About 1,700 participated in the conference, which is one of the largest beef education workshops in the country.
Halstrom, whose presentation was titled, “Beef Export Markets: Are They Really Important?” explained efforts by USMEF to overcome trade obstacles around the world and capitalize on emerging opportunities.
“While we have had significant success in the last several years, challenges remain due to the strong U.S. dollar, lack of access to markets such as China, Russia and Saudi Arabia, and very active competition from around the world, including the likes of Australia, Brazil, Canada, India and Mexico,” Halstrom said. “However, opportunity seems to outweigh the many challenges, in that domestic beef production in a lot of emerging markets continues to decline and demand increases. USMEF will continue to market U.S. beef as best-tasting, high-quality, tender and safe beef.”
Halstrom provided an overview of global beef markets, focusing on the value they deliver to the U.S. beef industry. The importance of exporting variety meat was a topic that commanded much attention from producers, processors and others in attendance.
Halstrom also discussed trends in top markets, along with key strategies USMEF employs to maximize demand. Examples he gave were chilled beef campaigns in Japan and the Rocky Mountain Steak chilled beef feature at E-mart in South Korea.
Pointing out efforts in emerging markets, Halstrom described the work that USMEF has done in Africa, especially in countries such as Ghana, Benin, Nigeria and Angola, where developing economies are showing promise for the U.S. beef industry.
Dr. Jason Cleere, conference coordinator and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist, said this year’s edition was one of the highest-attended short course events ever. Along with Halstrom, the event included presentations by Dr. Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University livestock marketing economist, Dr. Rick Machen, AgriLife Extension livestock specialist, Russell Woodward, senior manager of product marketing with the Texas Beef Council and Colorado-based meteorologist Brian Bledsoe.