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Future U.S. Ag Leaders Briefed on Red Meat Markets in Japan, China/Hong Kong

Published: Friday, May 20th, 2016

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USMEF staff in China and Japan met with students from Iowa State University and South Dakota State University this week to provide the future agricultural leaders with a better understanding of the markets and how they could affect the future of livestock production in the United States.

The universities were on separate missions to Asia, but USMEF was able to accommodate both. Joel Haggard, USMEF senior vice president for the Asia Pacific, updated the students on challenges and opportunities in China.

Iowa State University students visit a packing company in Japan

Iowa State University students visit a packing company in Japan

“USMEF put together an excellent briefing on access to the China/Hong Kong market for U.S. beef, pork, and lamb at the Agricultural Trade Office in Hong Kong,” Robert Thaler, professor and extension swine specialist at SDSU, said. “Joel’s insight really set the stage for our students as they began their two weeks in China and helped us to better understand all the intricacies involved with getting product into China. The morning spent with USMEF helped create a much better experience for our students.”

South Dakota State University students during a stop in China

South Dakota State University students during a stop in China

Thaler was leading a group of 25 SDSU students from South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska.

Meanwhile, students from ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences received similar USMEF briefings during their trip to Japan and China. The ISU group – made up of 24 students and four faculty members – had a primary emphasis on the swine industries in Asian countries.

Students from South Dakota State University and Iowa State University learned about red meat markets during separate missions to Asia this month

Students from South Dakota State University and Iowa State University learned about red meat markets during separate missions to Asia this month

USMEF-Japan Director Takemichi Yamashoji briefed the group on trends in Japan’s meat imports.

“Takemichi also arranged for a tour of the Nippon Cold Storage Facility in Tokyo, where our students were able to see how pork from the U.S. is stored when it arrives in Japan,” Maynard Hogberg, professor and chair emeritus in the Department of Animal Science at ISU, said. “Our students gained a great appreciation of the strong partnership between the U.S. pork and beef industries and USMEF – and how USMEF’s efforts are so vital to maintaining and growing the export of beef and pork.”

An Iowa State student is interviewed by a Japanese television station

An Iowa State student is interviewed by a Japanese television station

Hogberg, who traveled with members of the Iowa Pork Producers Association and Iowa Beef Industry Council to Japan in February 2015, added that the ISU contingent also learned about opportunities to further expand further red meat imports into Japan and Japanese consumers’ focus on quality.