Great interest has circled regarding Japan's increase activity purchasing U.S. red meat. In this U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) report, U.S. producers share observations from their visit to Japan on Sept. 3-8 to meet with buyers of U.S. pork and beef and get a firsthand look at how their support helps grow demand in the leading international market for U.S. red meat. The “USMEF Heartland Team” included Wanda Blair, a cattle producer from Vale, South Dakota, who serves on the USMEF executive committee. In her first visit to Japan, Blair was impressed with the trade seminar USMEF conducted for importers, distributors and other key industry contacts.

Jerry Maier, a corn and soybean grower from Eagle Grove, Iowa, and director for the Iowa Corn Growers Association was also a first-time visitor to Japan. He offers his observations from USMEF supermarket promotions in Tokyo.

Nebraska Corn Board member David Merrell, a corn and soybean producer from St. Edward, Nebraska, last visited Japan in 2007 and remarks on the strong growth in consumer interest in U.S. pork and beef.

Other members of the USMEF Heartland Team delegation were: Bill Lickley, Idaho Beef Council; Cale Buhr, Charles Knipe, and Leon Dorn, Nebraska Soybean Board; Jay Reiners, Nebraska Corn Growers Association; Chris Abbott, Nebraska Beef Council; Ryan Quarles, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture; Dave Maples, Kentucky Cattlemen's Association; Ray Allan Mackey, Kentucky Corn Promotion Council; Dennis McNinch and Greg Krissek, Kansas Corn Commission; Kenlon Johannes and Lance Rezac, Kansas Soybean Commission; Richard Wortham, Texas Beef Council; Eldon White, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association; Patrick O’Leary and Gene Stoel, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council; Mike McCranie, South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council; Theresa Sisung, Corn Marketing Program of Michigan.