MSGA Director Selected as USMEF Chairman-Elect

Bruce Schmoll looks to keep U.S. agriculture products competitive

The U.S. Meat Export Federation’s (USMEF) annual Strategic Planning Conference concluded Nov. 6 in Tucson, Ariz., with the election of a new officer team.

Bruce Schmoll, current Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) director, past MSGA president and current Dodge County Corn and Soybean Growers board member, was voted as the new USMEF chairman-elect. 

“Last year I served as the vice-chairman,” Schmoll explains. “I was recently elected as the chairman-elect, which is right below the chairman position.”

Schmoll said they are focusing on the pork, beef and lamb industry while trying to re-establish markets overseas for those products.

“With a stronger U.S. dollar, we are trying to figure out how to keep our products competitive,” Schmoll said. “Currently, Europe is unloading cheaper pork into Japan, which cuts into our pork exports. This is something we will be addressing in the upcoming year. USMEF is a great organization that works hard to provide a demand for the red meat industry throughout the world, which in return, strengthens the grain markets.”

Other notes from the meeting

Other officers elected were Roel Andriessen, USMEF chair, Conley Nelson, secretary-treasurer and Leann Saunders, who acts as immediate past chair.

Also at the meeting, the USMEF membership unanimously approved a resolution supporting ratification and implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The resolution states that TPP offers significant tariff relief for U.S. beef and pork entering Japan and Vietnam, and includes mechanisms for addressing sanitary and phytosanitary issues that will assist the United States in reducing non-tariff trade barriers and achieving reliable market access. The resolution also notes that failure to ratify TPP could cause the U.S. red meat industry to face significant disadvantages as competitors move forward with trade agreements.

The resolution originated with the USMEF Beef and Allied Industries Committee and Pork and Allied Industries Committee, which had met the previous day to discuss market conditions and marketing activities in key destinations for U.S. red meat. Meetings were also conducted by the USMEF Exporter Committee and the USMEF Feedgrain and Oilseed Caucus.

The Strategic Planning Conference also included a detailed outline of TPP’s implications for U.S. agriculture by Sharon Bomer, assistant U.S. trade representative for agricultural affairs and commodity policy for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. USMEF members also received informative presentations on China’s role in the global economy from Michael Drury, chief economist for McVean Trading, and Joel Haggard, USMEF senior vice president for the Asia Pacific.