Nebraska Corn Board member elected vice-chair of U.S. Meat Export Federation

(Click the image to download a hi-res version.) Shown here is the U.S. Meat Export Federation officer team for 2011-12. They are (from left) secretary/treasurer Leann Saunders, president of IMI Global, Inc., of Castle Rock, Colo.; chair-elect Steve Isaf, president of Interra International, Atlanta, Ga.; vice-chair Mark Jagels, a farmer-director of the Nebraska Corn Board from Davenport, Neb., and chair Danita Rodibaugh, a pork producer from Rensselaer, Ind.

LINCOLN, NEB – Nebraska Corn Board member Mark Jagels, a farmer from Davenport, was elected vice-chair of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) at the organization’s recent annual conference in Tucson, Ariz. Jagels served as USMEF secretary/treasurer over the previous year.

“I had a great experience over this past year as an officer for USMEF and am looking forward to continuing to serve,” said Jagels, a fourth generation farmer who lives on the home place that was originally homesteaded in 1885.

“USMEF strives to open markets around the world and increase sales of U.S. pork and beef in those markets,” Jagels said. “Its work is important to the success of Nebraska beef and pork producers, as every pound of meat exported adds value to cattle and hogs. That, in turn, helps ensure good demand for Nebraska corn and distillers grains to be fed to those livestock.”

According to USMEF estimates, so far this year the export value of beef equates to more than $200 per head of each steer and heifer processed. For pork, the export value is $55 for each hog processed.

Jagels farms with his dad, raising corn and soybeans, feeding cattle and running a cow/calf operation. Before being elected an officer last year, Jagels served as a member of the USMEF executive committee representing feed grains, and has co-chaired USMEF’s Feed Grains & Oilseed Committee.

“Mark took his personal interest in expanding U.S. beef and pork exports and looked to be the Nebraska Corn Board’s representative with USMEF several years ago. He’s done an excellent job representing Nebraska producers and producers across the country,” said Don Hutchens, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board. “A year ago, he became the first Nebraska Corn Board member to serve as an officer on USMEF’s board in 24 years, and we’re glad he has taken on a new role this year.”

The Nebraska Corn Board so strongly believes in USMEF’s mission that it has supported the organization with corn checkoff dollars since USMEF was founded in 1979.

“Nebraska farmers recognized early on the importance of meat exports to the success of the livestock industry and how that impacts the demand for feed corn and the feed ingredient distillers grains,” Jagels said. “When you consider that 95 percent of the world’s population lives outside the United States, and the fact that U.S. producers are so skilled in what they do, it makes sense to look to other countries and grow markets. It’s how we’ll be successful long-term.”

Other officers elected to the USMEF board include Danita Rodibaugh, a pork producer from Rensselaer, Ind., who was chosen as chair; Steve Isaf, president of Interra International, Atlanta, Ga., who was chosen as chair-elect, and Leann Saunders, president of IMI Global, Inc., of Castle Rock, Colo., who was chosen as secretary-treasurer.

The Nebraska Corn Board is a self-help program, funded and managed by Nebraska corn farmers. Producers invest in the program at a rate of 1/4 of a cent per bushel of corn sold. Nebraska corn checkoff funds are invested in programs of market development, research and education.

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