"I've been very fortunate," Rush said, "I was able to be a part of the Latin American Meat Showcase for three trips and then I was able to represent the Nebraska Beef Council on the governor's trade mission to Japan."
The Latin American Meat Showcase, he explained, brings together buyers and sellers from the United States and various countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The showcase has evolved over the years, with attendance growing significantly from its initial 50-60 participants to a staggering 475 attendees at this year’s show hosted in Colombia.
"The idea was to bring all of the buyers and sellers together at one point in one time," he shared.
During these trips, the representative's role has been twofold: to represent Nebraska beef producers and communicate the industry's commitment to animal welfare, sustainability, and high-quality products. He emphasized that "Nebraska does an excellent job of producing beef cattle and produces some of the highest quality beef in the country."
Rush also aimed to strengthen connections between buyers and sellers, highlighting the significance of face-to-face communication in fostering trade relationships. Reflecting on his most recent trip, Rush recounted a key insight he gained: "Countries do not trade with countries; people trade with people."
Additionally, Rush was impressed by the display and promotion of US beef products in Colombian supermarkets that he was able to tour. He noted that US beef was presented in an appealing and informative manner, creating a positive image among consumers. Rush also emphasized the role of the USMEF in facilitating international trade efforts by connecting buyers and sellers, organizing cooking demonstrations, TV shows, and educational activities that promote US beef products in foreign markets.
"They live there, they understand the culture, they understand the purveyors, and they know who they are," he stated.
Having spent part of his career working in Colombia, Rush’s connection to Latin America runs deep. With a commitment to excellence and a passion for promoting Nebraska's beef industry, he continues to serve as a vital link between American producers and global consumers.
For more information and to learn more about the Nebraska Beef Council, visit www.nebeef.org.
The Nebraska Beef Council is a non-profit organization served by a nine-member board of directors. The volunteers oversee the beef checkoff in Nebraska and checkoff-funded programs. Programs for marketing and promotion are funded by the $1/head beef checkoff.