June 2023 Update
Hello Nebraska Corn, my name is Cord Lee, and I am the Promotion and International Relations Intern with the United States Meat Export Federation based in Denver, Colorado. I am originally from Elsie, Nebraska, where I grew up on my family’s cow/calf, feedlot, and row-crop operation. I am currently a senior at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, double-majoring in Agricultural Economics and Animal Science, with a minor in the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program. I am involved in the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, Collegiate Farm Bureau, and other clubs and organizations on campus. I have loved getting a wide variety of experiences in my internship already and am excited to share them with you!
To start things off, my internship experience looks a little bit different than most expect. With the USMEF staff traveling and working remotely, I can also work in a hybrid setting, meaning that I still go into the office regularly but have the capability to work remotely as well. This work experience is something that I am not accustomed to, but I have come to enjoy the experience of being able still to see all the friendly staff in the office and experience living somewhere new, but I am still able to hang out with my family and friends in Nebraska. As I mentioned, this work setting is new to me, but it has been a great experience.
The main thing I want to highlight in this blog post is my experience at the 2023 World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa. As a beef producer, my familiarity with the pork industry was very superficial prior to attending the World Pork Expo, however, I left Des Moines with a greater appreciation and understanding of the pork industry. I was introduced to Don Mason, USMEF Representative in Colombia at the World Pork Expo. Don and I were able to have excellent conversations on issues within the pork industry, the pork industry in Colombia and other international markets, as well as meeting with other industry professionals. I appreciate being able to hear about Don’s life and career experiences and being able to learn from an industry professional. Two of my main takeaways from the World Pork Expo are the uses of artificial intelligence (AI) in the industry and how Proposition 12 is expected to or has impacted pork producers.
With artificial intelligence on the rise, it is so exciting to see it make its way into livestock production, hoping to make the industry more efficient. AI has been impactful in the nutrition and genetic aspects of the industry, which are crucial aspects of industry producers. Implementing AI in your operation can improve data collection and analysis to evaluate performance and behavior better. Management of industry operations will benefit directly from the use of AI in the future.
The Supreme Court ruling on Proposition 12 has created an anticipation of pressure and uncertainty in the pork industry. Prop 12 will certainly have an impact on the pork industry, as California is a huge demand base for pork. It will be interesting to see how the industry, as a whole, adjusts moving forward.
Nebraska Corn, thanks for checking in to hear about my experience so far. I look forward to keeping you all up-to-date on my internship experience with the United States Meat Export Federation!