June 12, 2017

My First Couple Weeks In Denver

Hi! I'm Michaela Clowser. This summer, I'm interning with the U.S. Meat Export Federation in Denver, Colorado. It has been an exciting first couple weeks in Denver so far.

On my first day, I had the opportunity to sit in on presentations given by some of the staff here at USMEF to a group from Singapore. The group was here for visits and collaboration with our office and participate in several other industry tours here in Colorado. Also, later that same afternoon, there was a group from the National Corn Growers Association from Chesterfield, Missouri. I had the privilege of meeting and talking with them. I experience what a small world we live in sometimes; one of the directors, specifically in market development was from my home town of Seward, Nebraska and both of our families’ attend the same church.

Later that week I spent time getting to know the office and the staff, everyone is very helpful and friendly. During my second week, I had the opportunity to go with most of the office to Arlington, Virginia for the summer Board of Directors meeting. It was very exciting to be a part of this event. Throughout the week there were Executive Committee meetings, general sessions with speakers, and separate committee meetings. 

It was exciting to meet the Executive Committee, international staff from USMEF, and all the members who attended. I enjoyed meeting the four committees: pork, beef, exporting, and oilseeds and feedgrains. In the Executive Committee meeting, the topics of discussion included; new members, budget and audit approvals, and what USMEF has accomplished so far in 2017. After the Executive Committee meeting, there were industry updates for pork, beef, and lamb. With my background and experiences in the beef industry, it was very interesting to hear about what the direction the industry is going. Traceability and the new potential market in China are the hot topics that were discussed. To explain further, traceability is the ability to track an animal from the time they are born to the time they are harvested. 

In the general sessions, we heard from Bruce Schmoll, USMEF Chair, Philip Seng, President and CEO of USMEF, Sen. Pat Roberts and Ziggy Duval, President of the American Farm Bureau. My personal duties that week included staffing the registration desk. This provided me a fun way to interact with all of the members. In addition, I helped set up and organize the committee meetings.

Overall, it was a great experience and I learned so much. I learned that Costco in South Korea has a new agreement to sell only U.S. produced meat, and one of those stores has the best and biggest meat case and section in the world. The representative from the USMEF office in Korea explained how popular this specific Costco store is in Korea. I also learned that U.S. pork is very popular in Japan and there is a symbol for the quality of U.S. raised pork, the symbol is Gochipo. Gochipo is a friendly pig cartoon character that became a mascot for U.S. pork in Japan. The mascot is featured in print and online media, on point-of-sale materials, on menus and outdoor advertisements. The Nebraska Corn Board was at the Board of Directors meeting and I was fortunate go out to dinner with them, it was a lot of fun and really tasty! 

Non-work related, I went to the mountains my first weekend here and went hiking on a trail by the little town of Idaho Springs, it was beautiful! Overall, I’m enjoying my internship and Denver and am excited for the rest of the summer!

Michaela Clowser
U.S. Meat Export Federation
1660 Lincoln Street, Suite 2800
Denver, CO 80254
Office: 303.623.MEAT

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