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Record-Large Beef Exports Fuel Optimism at Cattle Industry Convention

Published: Feb 07, 2022
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You may download the audio file here

With U.S. beef exports topping $10 billion* over the past year – shattering previous records – international trade and the returns exports deliver for the U.S. industry were major topics of discussion at the Cattle Industry Convention in Houston.

Mark Swanson, CEO of Birko Corporation and currently serving as chair of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), says expanding U.S. beef exports is important to the entire supply chain, and surging global demand for U.S. beef helped set a positive and optimistic tone for the convention.

Nebraska rancher Steve Hanson, who serves as USMEF secretary-treasurer, notes that U.S. beef export value equated to about $400 per head of fed slaughter in 2021, and this is excellent news for cattle producers. He added that export growth extends beyond major Asian destinations such as Japan, South Korea and China/Hong Kong, with U.S. beef also achieving success in emerging markets.

*Through November, beef exports totaled $9.59 billion in 2021. December results will soon be released by USDA.


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The U.S. Meat Export Federation ( is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations. USMEF complies with all equal opportunity, non-discrimination and affirmative action measures applicable to it by contract, government rule or regulation or as otherwise provided by law. USMEF is an equal opportunity employer and provider.