USMEF elects new chairman
Mark Swanson, chief executive officer of Colorado-based Birko Corporation, is the new USMEF chairman, succeeding Pat Binger of Cargill Protein North America. Since joining USMEF in 2008, Swanson said Birko has benefited significantly from the federation’s expertise and from the contributions exports make to the growth and profitability of the US red meat industry.
“The reason Birko became involved with the US Meat Export Federation is that as a critical supplier to the industry, we know that exports are absolutely vital to the profitability of our customers,” he said. “Birko’s support for our customers is what drove us to assist USMEF in its quest to grow meat exports. Probably the greatest aspect of USMEF that has helped Birko, and many of the organizations that we work with, is the technical knowledge and the technical skill of the USMEF staff – which is second to none,” Swanson added. “This is what propels us to outpace the competition because we’re simply better at understanding the markets.”
Swanson heads an officer team reflecting the wide range of USMEF membership sectors. Dean Meyer, a corn, soybean and livestock producer from Rock Rapids, Iowa, is the new USMEF chair-elect, and Edgerton, Minn., pork producer Randy Spronk will serve as vice-chair. The newest USMEF officer is Secretary-Treasurer Steve Hanson, a rancher from Elsie, Nebraska.