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Presidential Address, Distinguished Service Award Highlight USMEF Strategic Planning Conference

Wednesday’s general session of the USMEF Strategic Planning Conference in Fort Worth, Texas, included a presidential address from USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng. Challenging USMEF members to “compete or retreat,” Seng addressed the obstacles U.S. red meat exports face in increasingly competitive markets, the importance of investing in market development activities and the need for a new farm bill. Listen to the full address online.

From left: USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng, Distinguished Service Award winner Scott Shearer, South Dakota Corn Utilization Council board member Jason Kontz and USMEF Chairman Steve Isaf

From left: USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng, Distinguished Service Award winner Scott Shearer, South Dakota Corn Utilization Council board member Jason Kontz and USMEF Chairman Steve Isaf

P. Scott Shearer, one of the leading advocates for American agriculture and agricultural exports, received the 2013 USMEF Distinguished Service Award. Shearer has an extensive record of accomplishment in trade and agricultural policy. As co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for U.S.-China Trade and co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for Trade Promotion Authority, he was instrumental in the successful passage of China permanent normal trade relations, TPA and the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement. Shearer also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, directing the agency’s legislative efforts including the 1996 Farm Bill, trade policy, USDA reorganization, crop insurance reform, food safety and nutrition.

Listen to Shearer’s acceptance speech (with an introduction by USMEF Chairman Steve Isaf) online.

The program also included a panel discussion on the effect of trade policy on exports, featuring senior staff from USMEF’s international offices and David Peterson, vice president of international sales from Seaboard Foods. USMEF also honored the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council as the newest member of its Million Dollar Club.