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USMEF, Iowa Pork Industry Host Buyer Teams from Korea, Mexico, Central America

Iowa Governor Terry Brandstad (far left) joins a USMEF-led team of buyers from Mexico and Central America for dinner  at the farm of Gordon Wassenaar, past chairman of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board

Iowa Governor Terry Brandstad (far left) joins a USMEF-led team of buyers from Mexico and Central America for dinner at the farm of Gordon Wassenaar, past chairman of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board

USMEF is leading teams of pork buyers from South Korea, Mexico and Central America in Iowa this week to meet producers, visit pork processing companies and attend World Pork Expo.

A team of 12 from Mexico, led by USMEF Regional Director Chad Russell, and a team of seven from Central America, led by USMEF Director of Trade and Development Gerardo Rodriguez, began the week by visiting a trio of food companies that play a big role in the pork industry: Pine Ridge Farms in Des Moines, Tyson Foods in Waterloo and Farmland Foods in Denison.

A Korean delegation focused specifically on U.S. chilled pork was led by USMEF-Korea Director Jihae Yang and Senior Marketing Manager Junil Park visited Iowa Select Farms, a pork production company in Iowa Falls. The team of 10 pork buyers also toured the Pork Quality Research Laboratory at Iowa State University in Ames and two slaughter facilities – the JBS plant in Marshalltown and the Cargill Meat Solutions plant in Ottumwa.

Rich Degner, CEO of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, welcomes the chilled pork team from Korea during its visit to Iowa

Rich Degner, CEO of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, welcomes the chilled pork team from Korea during its visit to Iowa

All three teams were hosted by the Iowa Economic Development Authority for a dinner held at the Prairie City farm of Gordon Wassenaar, past chairman of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and current member on the Iowa Corn Exports and Grain Trade Committee.

The week wrapped up Thursday with a stop at World Pork Expo, which includes the world’s largest pork-specific trade show, educational seminars, and swine shows and sales. About 20,000 pork producers and other pork industry professionals attended World Pork Expo each year. This year’s event was attended by industry representatives from more than 30 countries.