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Audio: Meet New USMEF Chairman Mark Jagels

Published: Nov 11, 2013
November 11, 2013
00:00 / 00:00

You may download the audio file here

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) concluded its annual Strategic Planning Conference in Fort Worth, Texas, last week with the election of officers for the coming year.

Mark Jagels, a fourth-generation corn and soybean farmer and custom cattle feeder from Davenport, Neb., is USMEF’s new chairman. In his acceptance speech, Mr. Jagels provided the audience with details of his agricultural background and described his history of involvement with USMEF. Jagels noted that U.S. meat exports are likely to face many obstacles in the coming year, but he asked USMEF members to accept the challenge posed the previous day by USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng to “compete, not retreat.”

USMEF’s full slate of officers for 2013-2014:

• Chair-elect is Leann Saunders, president of Where Food Comes From, America’s leading provider of third-party identification verification and traceability solutions for the livestock and agricultural industries, based in Castle Rock, Colo.

• Roel Andriessen (pronounced Role An-dree-sun), USMEF vice-chair, is senior vice president of Tyson Foods responsible for the international sales group of Tyson Fresh Meats. He is based in Dakota Dunes, S.D.

• Bruce Schmoll, a soybean and corn producer from Claremont, Minn., is the new USMEF secretary-treasurer.


Joe Schuele: In this U.S. Meat Export Federation report, we introduce new USMEF Chairman Mark Jagels.

Mark Jagels: These are big shoes to fill, and I kind of feel intimidated at times, but I also know that each and every one of us brings something to this organization. So I am looking forward to this next year, and so I want to start by just giving you a little background about myself. I am a fourth generation farmer, I operate our family farm near davenport Nebraska, in South Central Nebraska, where we produce; corn, both yellow and food grade white, soybeans, run a cow/calf operation, feed cattle, and operate a trucking company.

All of us come to USMEF through a sector or through an organization. Mine happened to be the Nebraska corn board, where I had the honor of serving as chairman of that organization. I’ve also served on the U.S. grains council, and also as a member of the national corn growers association, on the research in business and development action team. But long before I became an officer here at USMEF, I had the opportunity to see this organization in action. Through the years we’ve hosted a number of trade teams, and on behalf of the USMEF and Nebraska Corn Board I’ve traveled to Europe, Asia and, South America, to see how our industry handles exports in the international marketplace.

Joe Schuele: While Jagels sees many challenges in the years ahead, he feels the U.S. meat industry has strong moment on which to build.

Mark Jagels: 2013 has been filled with opportunities and challenges, and I do not expect 2014 to be any different, or much quieter. We continue to face hurdles around the world. But despite these challenges we maintain good momentum, as we look to improve on last year’s record for the value of U.S. red meat exports. As Phil Seng so eloquently said yesterday, we need to decide if we are going to compete or retreat. My vote is to compete.

Joe Schuele: For more on this and other trade issues please visit For the U.S. Meat Export Federation, I’m Joe Schuele.

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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.