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USMEF Honors Rosemary Mucklow, Rich Degner

Published: Nov 06, 2015

Rosemary Mucklow addresses the audience after receiving the Mansfield Award

USMEF honored two longtime meat industry leaders Thursday at an awards luncheon held at the organization’s 2015 Strategic Planning Conference in Tucson, Arizona.

Rosemary Mucklow, director emeritus and consultant for the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), received the Mansfield Award, established in recognition of former U.S. senator and diplomat Michael J. Mansfield, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan under both the Carter and Reagan Administrations and displayed an unyielding commitment to U.S.-Japan free trade.

Mucklow’s career in the meat industry spans more than 50 years, including 25 years as executive director of the National Meat Association. Mucklow also provided valuable regulatory and business guidance to the industry as part of the North American Meat Association, which later merged with the American Meat Institute to form NAMI

“I’m no lone ranger in the Wild West, I’m a team player and it has been my privilege to work as a team with men and women at USMEF and the U.S. meat industry because they went forth to place U.S. meat on the world’s table,” Mucklow said. “The Mansfield Award is a great honor and one that makes me reflect on all those wonderful people I have worked with.”

Mucklow quoted Winston Churchill, who in February 1941 made a direct appeal to the United States to approve the Lend Lease Act, which would provide military assistance to Britain and other countries in the midst of World War II.

“Churchill said ‘Give us the tools and we will finish the job,’” Mucklow recalled. “Well, USMEF has provided and continues to provide the meat industry with tools to do the job of putting U.S. meat on plates all over the world.”

Rich Degner receives the Distinguished Service Award from USMEF Chair Leann Saunders

Rich Degner, who recently retired as chief executive officer of the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA), received USMEF’s Distinguished Service Award, presented to individuals who have shown outstanding leadership toward achievement of USMEF’s export goals.

Prior to becoming CEO, Degner served IPPA in the areas of producer education, market development, communications and public policy. He was instrumental in launching IPPA’s foreign market development program, working in conjunction with USMEF and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

While receiving the Distinguished Service Award Thursday, Degner lauded USMEF’s international staff members for helping solve problems and set up business opportunities.

“Since 1989, I’ve joined Iowa pork leaders to travel to international markets, and just yesterday I was counting and I’ve been to 22 markets,” Degner said, adding that IPPA staff values its relationship with USMEF and has provided funding for pork programs throughout the years.

Summarizing the successes of IPPA and USMEF over the years in developing markets for U.S. pork, Degner reflected on the strides the U.S. industry has made in international trade.

“It is truly amazing to recall that when those early efforts began, the United States was a net pork importer,” he said.