Increasing exportsIowa cattlemen focus on Japan
AINSWORTH – With Japan being the top importer of United States beef in the world, it is also becoming the top focus of members of the Iowa Beef Industry Council for promoting beef products.
During the annual Washington County Cattlemen’s Association banquet Saturday evening, which was held at the Conservation Education Center in Marr Park, Scott Heater of the Iowa Beef Industry Council spoke about a recent trip to Japan and what the beef industry is doing to promote beef export throughout the world. Heater gave a slide presentation of the trip that was meant to promote the beef industry in Japan.
“We work on exports in 20-some odd countries,” he said. “Statistics say that this year exports are up about 14 percent to foreign countries.”
He said beef imports to Japan are up 43 percent in the last year since a recent law change regarding the growth of beef. He also said that Japan was the top importer of corn from the United States.
A contingent from the Iowa Beef Industry Council travelled to Japan to discuss American beef production. Heater said that he has been there twice in two years.
Heater said that the Iowa Beef Industry Council has been working on a program for the last few years that is promoting beef in a lean diet. He said the promotion is to show beef is a lean, healthy food. He said there are 24 cuts of beef that qualify for a lean diet. He also discussed a new product called “smacon.” It is bacon made with beef. He said that it has about half the calories of pork bacon.
During the banquet, the audience dined on a steak dinner. The keynote speaker was Jess Jackson, a grazing specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.