Beef Jerky

Beef Beyond Borders: Iowa Producers Travel to Colombia

Casey Anderson | December 14, 2023

Iowa beef producers Garrett Englin, Orange City, and Don Swanson, Ottumwa, represented Iowans and the Iowa Beef Industry Council on a recent trade mission to Colombia. While in country Garrett and Don traveled alongside other commodity industry producers to tour Colombian manufacturing facilities, grocers and Colombian trade partners. 

Beef raised in Iowa can be found in local supermarkets and also all around the world as the global footprint of American beef production continues to expand. Two Iowa beef producers recently celebrated a successful trade mission to Colombia, facilitated by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), and featured representatives Garrett Englin and Don Swanson from the Iowa Beef Industry Council. The delegation, led by Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Grant Menke, focused on fostering trade relationships and exploring opportunities to expand export markets.

During their visit to Bogotá and Medellín, the delegation engaged in productive meetings to promote Iowa's high-quality beef products. Beyond volume, the value of Iowa's beef exports to Colombia underscores the economic significance of this international trade relationship. The USMEF reports reveal not only a boost in the quantity of beef exported but also a notable increase in the overall value of these shipments. For Iowa beef producers, this translates into expanded market opportunities and enhanced revenue streams, showcasing the tangible benefits of engaging in international trade.

Colombia, with a population of 52 million and the fourth-largest economy in Latin America, proved to be a key player in Iowa's international trade landscape. In 2022, Iowa exported an impressive $549 million in goods to Colombia, making it a vital market for corn, pork, and beef. Deputy Secretary Menke emphasized the substantial growth potential in the agriculture trade relationship between the U.S. and Colombia.

The strategic partnership with Colombia is a testament to the importance of diversifying markets for Iowa beef producers. By tapping into foreign markets, beef trade not only contributes to the state's economic growth but also helps grow the cumulative beef economy. As global demand for premium beef continues to rise, Iowa's beef producers stand to benefit from robust beef demand and also reinforces the state's standing in the international meat market. Embracing and nurturing such international connections is key to ensuring the sustained success of Iowa's beef industry in the global arena.

Relationship building continues to create opportunities for market access in a competitive global protein landscape through partnerships with the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Your Beef Checkoff investment is leveraged to utilize the expertise of their respective staff who understand and can help international customers understand the nutritional value, production practices and value of our beef.