Smithfield Foods’ Conley Nelson joins USMEF as chairman

By Ashley Williams

- Last updated on GMT

USMEF's new chairman Conley Nelson (right) alongside Dennis Stiffler
USMEF's new chairman Conley Nelson (right) alongside Dennis Stiffler
The US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) has appointed Conley Nelson as its new chairman.

Currently working as a general manager of Smithfield Foods’ hog production division, Nelson will join USMEF with immediate effect and will be responsible for meeting the US meat industry’s challenges and building on its successes.

Nelson, who has also served as president of the National Pork Board, will succeed Dennis Stiffler at the organisation after being involved with the livestock and meat industry for more than 30 years.

One of the things I’ve thought about as chair-elect over the past year is that when you become a USMEF officer, you sort of put the allegiances to your own sector – in my case the pork sector – aside, and you think about the big picture​,” said Nelson.

I wanted to get myself immersed into some of the other sectors of the red meat industry. I am very humbled to be in this position and excited and proud to be up here representing the US Meat Export Federation as its new chairman​.”

Nelson was raised on a family farm in north-central Iowa, which included a purebred Angus herd, a Holstein dairy herd and a farrow-to-finish hog operation. His family has been involved in contract pork production since 1983.

Nelson is also among many other appointments at the organisation, including Pat Binger who will become USMEF’s vice-chair and Mark Swanson as secretary-treasurer.

Binger heads up international sales for Cargill Protein Group and first became involved with USMEF more than 25 years ago.

Swanson is currently CEO of Birko Corporation in Colorado and has more than 20 years’ experience in the protein industry with institutions such as Iowa Beef Processors, ConAgra Foods and Swift & Company.

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