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Hometown Farmer - Feedlot Forum

Hometown Farmer - Feedlot Forum

There isn't a lot growing during these cold winter months, but the farmers in Siouxland who raise cattle are staying busy.

Many of them were at the Feedlot Forum in Sioux Center January 16th, put on by the Iowa State University Extension.

Steve Rehder's Chairman of the Iowa Beef Industry Council.

He was one of the people at the forum, a full house at the Terrace View Event Center.

"There's a huge potential, a six-billion-dollar potential," said Rehder, talking about a new market for Siouxland beef.

China lifted a ban on US beef imports last year and Steve visited the country.

He says there are a few hurdles to get over before we start sending over beef in large numbers.

"Identification of animals is a huge thing to them, you know, they want to know who raised that animal, where it came from and that's one thing in this country with the huge volume we have," said Rehder. "Tracking and tracing is an issue."

Dan Halstrom, with the US Meat Export Federation has about the same thing to say.

"Maybe not a short-term opportunity for a lot, but it is more of a medium to long-term opportunity," said Halstrom.

But besides China, Halstrom says more markets for our beef could really be opening up closer to home soon.

"But there are some developing regions as well, like central and south america and even Africa is starting to take beef variety meats," said Halstrom.

At least one rancher who was attending the forum said he's excited to get the ball rolling on 2018.

"Anything we can learn about the industry trends, whether it's markets or exports, that kind of thing, can maybe help us make decisions for 2018 and how we're going to put our business plans together." said Mark Nelson.

To get an idea of the beef business being done with china now, 650 tons of beef were shipped there in November, 2017.

If you think of a farmer that might be great on "Proud to be a Hometown Farmer," please email Jake at: jheller@siouxlandnews.com.

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