Ohio farmers visit export markets in South Korea, Japan on trade mission

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Ohio farmers Karyn Forman and Erin Limes Stickel participated in a trade mission in South Korea and Japan with U.S. Meat Export Federation. (Submitted photo)

DENVER, Colo. — Ohio farmers recently visited export markets in South Korea and Japan with U.S. Meat Export Federation Board member representatives from the Ohio Corn Marketing Program and Ohio Beef Council. The visit was part of a trade mission to expand U.S. corn and beef export markets in South Korea and Japan with the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

Karyn Forman, a corn grower from Goshen, Ohio, and Erin Limes Stickel, a beef producer from Bowling Green, Ohio, spent several days in Seoul, Korea, and Tokyo, Japan, as part of a delegation of U.S. farmers, ranchers and USMEF representatives learning about different market opportunities for U.S. beef.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation’s mission is to enhance demand in export markets for U.S. beef, pork, and lamb, through funding from a variety of sources, including beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs. The organization has offices in strategic markets across the globe with staff working locally to increase demand for U.S. meat.

Supporting export market development for “corn in all forms”, the Ohio Corn Marketing Program, Ohio’s corn checkoff, surpassed the one million dollar milestone in 2021 for dollars invested with USMEF since it started in 1989.

“Korea is the number one destination for U.S. beef and consumers there prefer corn-fed beef,” said Forman. “Learning about those export opportunities first-hand is an encouraging reminder that our checkoff is working hard in this market through USMEF to, ultimately, increase demand for U.S. corn.”

The group met with local food companies, toured retail locations and hosted a grilling event to interact with social media influencers in Japan.

“From everything we saw and learned, there is exciting opportunity for additional market penetration of U.S. beef in Korea and Japan. They value more of the beef carcass, using cuts that Americans don’t normally use,” said Limes Stickel. “USMEF makes extremely good use of the checkoff dollars invested in this work. Their boots-on-the-ground approach in those markets makes a huge difference for Ohio producers.”

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