N.D. Beef Commissioners Clark Price, Washburn, N.D., and Mark Voll, Sidney, Mont., traveled to Japan as part of a U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) delegation to promote U.S. beef by building trust between U.S. producers and Japanese consumers.

“Japan is the number one export market for U.S. beef, so it is very important for Japanese consumers to connect with the producers of the beef they consume,” says Price, a fourth-generation rancher. “As beef producers, our role was putting a face to the product.”

Price serves as the North Dakota Beef Commission’s USMEF representative and is also a national beef checkoff Beef Promotion Operating Committee member, is NCBA Global Growth Committee co-chair and Federation of State Beef Councils national director.

NDBC partners with USMEF in its mission to increase the value and profitability of U.S. beef, the largest segment of the red meat industry it represents, by enhancing demand for beef products in export markets through a partnership of all stakeholders.

“NDBC’s involvement in USMEF has continued to grow over the years,” says Voll. “We take our role in growing beef export markets very seriously. These markets directly benefit N.D. producers by increasing the value and profitability of U.S. beef, and no market delivers more value per head than Japan.” Voll is the NDBC vice chair.

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While in Japan, Price and Voll attended meetings with representatives from the Japan Meat Traders Association, a session with Japanese meat processors who import U.S. red meat, and a U.S. meat tasting session and seminar for Japanese buyers. They also interacted with Japanese beef consumers and toured Tokyo meat markets and retail locations, as well as a beef tongue processing plant and a wagyu farm.

The North Dakota Beef Commission, governed by North Dakota beef producers, manages the state beef checkoff program with the mission of enhancing beef demand by strengthening consumer trust and exceeding consumer expectations. This is accomplished through programs and activities in the areas of beef promotion, research and consumer information. Learn more at www.ndbeef.org.