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USMEF Participates in International Livestock Forum

Published: Jan 16, 2015

Mark Gustafson (far right) moderated a panel discussion on international meat demand that included (from left) Gerardo Rodriguez, Chad Russell and John Brook

This week members of USMEF’s leadership and international staff participated in the first annual International Livestock Forum in Fort Collins, Colorado. The forum, which was held in conjunction with the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) and presented by NWSS and Colorado State University, examined multiple segments of the livestock industry and how they are impacted by international and domestic demand for animal proteins. Several members of USMEF’s international staff were already in Colorado for internal meetings, which allowed them to contribute to the forum.

Jessica Julca, Dan Halstrom and Gerardo Rodriguez take questions from the audience

A panel discussion titled, “What kind of red meat is needed for international sales?” was moderated by USMEF Executive Committee member Mark Gustafson, who directs international sales for JBS USA and also serves as chairman of USMEF’s Exporter Committee. Panelists included John Brook, USMEF regional director of Europe, Russia and the Middle East; Chad Russell, regional director for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic; Gerardo Rodriguez, director of trade development for Central America and the Dominican Republic and Jessica Julca, USMEF South America representative. Also on the panel was Dan Halstrom, USMEF senior vice president of marketing and communications, whose observations focused on Asian markets.

USMEF Chair Leann Saunders discusses the importance of product differentiation

USMEF chair Leann Saunders also spoke at the forum. Saunders, who is president of Where Food Comes From, a leading agricultural and food verification and certification company, led a discussion about opportunities for livestock producers to differentiate their product in the competitive marketplace, explaining the important role this plays in adding value to each animal and improve their operation’s bottom line.

More details about the International Livestock Forum are available online.