August 18, 2015

Greetings from Nebraska!

By Kaydee Caldwell, US Meat Export Federation Intern

I have been home for a few days; my last day at USMEF was July 31. I had an amazing summer full of experiences that are simply invaluable. These last few months have been unforgettable. To start off my internship I attended the USMEF Board of Directors meeting in San Antonio, TX. The meetings I attended and speakers I was able to listen to made for a very enlightening experience. The first few weeks of my internship were filled with such a gain of knowledge that I can’t wait to apply to my classes at school, as well as my future career.

My big project for the summer was to put together a pork book showcasing the cuts that we export around the world. To start off the project, I emailed all of our international offices to find out which cuts were most popular in the different regions. The next step was to contact a photographer and packing plant and get everything lined up to get pictures of the cuts. 
Travis and I being meat beauticians at the pork photo shoot.

Once we were done with the photo shoot we contacted the graphic designer and had a meeting about the layout and talked about the time frame of the project.  Once we got all the pictures from the photographer, we found plated shots of poplar meals in each region and created a layout of the book to give the graphic designer an idea of how we wanted the pictures laid out. Before I left, we got our first proof back and I couldn’t be more excited about how this book is going to turn out!! I would like to give a quick shout out to Travis, Cheyenne, Lindsey and Paul for being so helpful when it came to this project. Their knowledge was very much appreciated and I truly enjoyed working with them.

Another project I had was to scout out different nations export associations and figure out exactly what we were competing with on a monetary and advertising basis. I looked up numerous annual reports, advertising campaigns and looked through the different members of their associations to figure out exactly what we are up against. Australia is by far one of our biggest competitors in the beef industry and although we have some of the best beef product in the world, they are able to get their product into way more countries. Their budget just for beef export promotion is $136 Million; our budget isn’t near that. I was just truly shocked, a major difference is while we give $1 to our checkoff program here in America, in Australia where their herd is bigger they give $5 a head, and look at the difference!! I gained some serious insight on competitors and had a great time feeling like a detective of red meat! Once I got done researching I printed out some of the information that was more useful and created a binder of our biggest competitors for future use.

There is a lot of transition going on at the office in Denver so I go to spend a few weeks playing receptionist and pretending to be Pam off “The Office”. I had a great time working with the lovely people of the USMEF Denver office and hope to keep in touch with them. I would like to thank John Hinners for doing a great job of keeping an eye on me and making sure I was well taken care of - he was a great boss and I really appreciated everything he did for me. Janel Domurat was another amazing co-worker of mine that I always enjoyed chatting with, she has an amazing sense of humor and I know that if I would have needed a mother figure during my time there she would have been more than able to take care of me! Joni Costa was also spectacular to work with, right away when I started she made sure I knew where everything was in the office, ensured I had quality housing and did a great job of making me feel needed! Paul Clayton and Dan Halstom are the last two that I want to give a shout out to, they are such champs when it comes to me giving them some good of Husker smack talk! They were also able to dish it right back, along with John, trying to convince me of Iowa State’s superiority.

My last two days at the office I was treated to lunch dates and had a wonderful time with everyone! On Thursday John, Paul, Travis and Cheyenne took me to Hop Daddy, it was very delicious. Then Friday for lunch I went out with Janel, Tammy, Joni and Angela. They took me to a lovely Italian restaurant where we had some excellent conversation. They embarrassed and entertained me as much as my mother does when they said, “Oh, let’s take a selfie!” I honestly couldn’t have turned redder. I really did enjoy my time with everyone in the office and look forward to seeing them all again.

Finally, I would like to thank the Nebraska Corn Board to sending me to Denver and giving me the opportunity to meet all these amazing people this summer. I had a wonderful time and gained so much knowledge of the red meat industry, found a new perspective of the beef and pork sector that as a producer I had not been exposed to before, and also for giving me the ability to form connections further in the industry with people who could be vital to my career success. I really did enjoy my time in Denver, but I was very excited to come home!

Thank you to everyone at the US Meat Export Federation for your hospitality, I hope our paths will cross again!

Here are some pictures from my summer! 
Last day of work lunch date with some of the fabulous
 ladies in the office! Angela, Janel, Joni and Tammy.
This was my first summer of enjoying the pool and not getting a farmers tan!
First day home and I HAD to go and visit my old show heifers!
And my first Monday back I enjoyed spending the day in the office I’m used to!

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