The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) recently hosted meat processors from across Latin America for a further processing seminar held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This was the fifth global processing seminar conducted by USMEF, but the first since COVID travel restrictions were imposed in 2020. Participants included representatives of further processing companies located in Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Chile, Peru and Jamaica.

Travis Arp, USMEF assistant vice president for export services, explains that the seminar is aimed at educating participants about the advantages of using U.S. pork and beef as raw material for further processed products and to introduce them to alternative cuts and new product development concepts. He notes that the delegation also got a firsthand look at U.S. beef and pork production, touring the Champion Feeders feedlot near Mead, Neb., and the Wholestone Farms pork plant near Fremont, Neb. Activities also included a tour of a HyVee supermarket in Lincoln, where the team was introduced to a range of processed meat products and merchandising ideas. They also received a presentation from Marble Technologies on automation trends in the meat processing sector.

The seminar was funded through support from the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). Dan Wesely, a farmer from Morse Bluff, Neb., and NCGA board member attended the event. He sees the seminar as a wise investment for U.S. corn producers, noting the important contribution beef and pork exports make to their bottom line.