Idaho Cattle Feeder Reflects on Challenging but Rewarding Year as USMEF Chair

November 4, 2020

Idaho cattle feeder Cevin Jones is wrapping up his one-year term as chair of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). He says that while the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted many of USMEF's planned promotional activities in 2020 and impacted demand in many markets, the organization found new and innovative ways to meet the needs of international customers and collaborate with industry partners.

"This year's demand has been especially challenging" said Jones. "The COVID disruptions had a very big impact on our markets. No doubt we've had to move from a lot of face to face trade shows and in-person visits to more virtual and online presence. Now that we've got we've made a big push, I think that's one of the big things that we've done as USMEF that's been really successful not only now, but going into the future. We've had to adapt as an organization and I think that moving forward will strengthen us."

He says that even in this very challenging environment, USMEF members and funding sources which cover a wide range of agricultural sectors, have remained firmly committed to keeping U.S. red meat on the world's table.

"There is still lots of support from the industry out there for these markets and expanding international trade" said Jones. "When you look at 97% of the world's population lives outside the US borders, it's very important that we continue to focus on those markets and and where we can move our products into and create a profitable environment for producers all over. And we're seeing a really true value. For beef producers, when I talk about it, $300 roughly per head added value in those export markets. That's very important for the profitability of our industry."

Jones will complete his term at the upcoming USMEF Strategic Planning Conference, which will be held virtually November 10th through 13th. For more information on the conference and other USMEF activities, please visit

Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation