People from all over visit the Indiana State Fair each summer, and this year a group of Japanese pork buyers enjoyed a quick look at the fair as part of a tour of Indiana. Their hosts were Indiana Soybean Alliance in conjunction with the U.S. Meat Export Federation and its chairman, Donita Rodibaugh from Jasper County. She told HAT the visit will help the Japanese put faces with the products they import from our state.
“This is a group from Itoham there in Japan, and they have a relationship with Mitsubishi which then has a relationship with Indiana Packers Corporation, so they do market quite a bit of Indiana pork. So for them to visit Indiana, get an opportunity to actually go on a pork farm, and they’ll do that with Mark Legan’s farm, to visit Indiana Packers and go through their plant, and they’ll get an opportunity to go to Purdue University and see the research farm and hear from some of the economists there at Purdue. So to get a flavor and build those relationships is really important as they go back to Japan.”
She says Japan is incredibly important to the Indiana farmer. For many years it has been the number one value market, importing some of the highest quality pork produced here. Mike Beard from Clinton County, a pork producer and board member with Indiana Soybean Alliance, says Japan represents a very big part of the market for Indiana soybeans.
“We’ve noticed in the pork industry that exports are becoming more and more a part of our market. In the soybean industry we export over half of our product. That soybean ultimately becomes animal feed. So whether you’re exporting domestic pork to Japan, we’re feeding it soybeans. If the Japanese are buying soybeans, that soybean ends up being animal feed, and most likely it will be pork.”
During a roundtable exchange the delegation was greatly interested in new ways to prepare pork, and pork tenderloins specifically, with thoughts of finding ways to build even more demand in Japan for U.S. pork.
Rodibaugh’s one year term ends in November when USMEF holds their board meeting and strategic planning session in Indianapolis.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/08/Japan-pork-visit.mp3|titles=Japan pork visit]More with Donita Rodibaugh:[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/08/Donita-Rodibaugh-USMEF.mp3|titles=Donita Rodibaugh USMEF]More with Mike Beard:[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/08/Mike-Beard-on-Japanese-visit.mp3|titles=Mike Beard on Japanese visit]