November 17, 2011

Nebraska Corn Board member elected vice-chair of USMEF

Mark Jagels, a farmer from Davenport and member of the Nebraska Corn Board, was elected vice-chair of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) at the organization’s annual conference.

Jagels served as USMEF secretary/treasurer last year.

“I had a great experience over this past year as an officer for USMEF and am looking forward to continuing to serve,” Jagels said in a Corn Board news release.

“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.

The USMEF officer team for 2011-12 (from left):
secretary/treasurer Leann Saunders, Castle Rock, Colo.;
chair-elect Steve Isaf, Atlanta, Ga.; vice-chair Mark Jagels,
Davenport, Neb., and chair Danita Rodibaugh, Rensselaer, Ind.
Jagels is a fourth generation farmer who lives on the home place that was originally homesteaded in 1885. He 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.”

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