The Mansfield Award honoree is Rosemary Mucklow, director emeritus and consultant for the North American Meat Institute (NAMI). Mucklow’s career in the meat industry spans more than 50 years, including 25 years (1982-2007) 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.

The Mansfield Award was established in recognition of former U.S. senator and diplomat Michael J. Mansfield, who served a record 11 years as U.S. Ambassador to Japan under both the Carter and Reagan Administrations, where he displayed an unyielding commitment to U.S.-Japan free trade. He was also the nation’s longest-serving U.S. Senate Majority Leader, holding the position for 16 years.

Rich Degner, who recently retired as chief executive officer of the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA), will receive USMEF’s Distinguished Service Award. The award is presented to individuals who have shown outstanding leadership toward achievement of USMEF’s export goals. Degner was instrumental in launching IPPA’s foreign market development program, working in conjunction with USMEF and the Iowa Economic Development Authority. He is a longtime champion of U.S. pork exports who often traveled to key international markets, meeting with pork buyers and establishing business relationships beneficial to U.S. exporters, processors and producers. He also helped host numerous international trade teams visiting the United States.