Suggested Lead: Sierra Jepsen, student at The Ohio State University and 2014 National Beef Ambassador from Amanda, Ohio, recently spent some time touring the offices of checkoff contractor U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) in Denver. Jepsen talks about her new-found passion for the international marketplace.
Jepsen 1: “In the past year, I’ve just really become interested in the international markets and done a little bit of traveling myself. But to be here in the headquarters of USMEF and to be able to see what goes into that export market and how that whole process goes together and how our United States personnel are working with 18 offices around the world and just really being able to have an inside look at where our products are going and how that demand is really driven by U.S. product and by international product as well, is really interesting. I’ve never been more confident in getting a degree in agricultural business as I have been today, and I’m just really excited about the future of the ag business and especially the beef industry and where we’re able to feed the world.” (:40 seconds)
Jepsen says she can now relate international markets to her own family farm, where they raise 70 head of Angus cattle, corn, wheat and soybeans.
Jepsen 2: “I never related back exports to my home operation. We only raise 65-70 head of cattle at any given time, and I never really thought about how my family farm is feeding the world. We think about ‘we’re feeding our own families, we’re feeding people in my community’ but to think that there are products that my cattle are being shipped across the seas and going all around the world, we don’t think about that on a day-to-day basis. USMEF is really going through that process to fill that need and to fit that niche and it’s a big part of our industry. It’s really exciting that one day I may be working on this side of the industry, coming from a small family farm and then on a national and global level, it’s exciting!” (:41 seconds)
Reporting for the beef checkoff, I’m Melissa Sandfort. For more about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.
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The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.