Volunteer leaders from many agricultural sectors not only provide direction for the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), they also frequently play a key role in hosting trade teams from international markets to help show them every phase of the U.S. pork, beef and lamb production chains.

Bruce Schmoll of Claremont, Minn., is president of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and a member of the USMEF Executive Committee. In the audio report above, he speaks about a recent opportunity to host a team of pork buyers from Japan at his farm and the personal connection achieved during this tour.

Schmoll also draws a correlation between the pork buyers’ tour of Minnesota agriculture and the experience he gained by visiting Japan in 2011 as a participant in the USMEF Market Education Program.   
Japan is consistently the largest value market for U.S. pork exports, setting a record in 2012 at nearly $2 billion. Through June of this year, pork exports to Japan totaled more than 473 million pounds valued at $949 million.