(left to right) Dennis Stiffler, secretary-treasurer, Bruce Schmoll, vice-chair, Roel Andriessen, chair-elect and Leann Saunders, USMEF chair.

WASHINGTON – The US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) elected new officers, including Leann Saunders, co-founder and president of Where Food Comes From, as chair of the industry group. The elections were held during USMEF's annual Strategic Planning Conference in Arlington, Va.

Before co-founding Where Food Comes From, an agricultural and food verification and certification company, Saunders worked for PM Beef Holdings where she developed the first USDA Process Verified Program for US beef. She also served as a purchasing specialist for McDonald's Corp. and for Hudson Foods. She remains actively involved in her family's ranching and stocker operations, and she part owner of the Mayfield Heritage Cattle Company, Animas, NM. Saunders has been involved with USMEF for 15 years.

“It is the rich diversity of USMEF that really makes it such an exceptional organization,” she said. “USMEF gives us the opportunity to see issues from different vantage points, get together and make a decision, align on that decision and move forward together.”

Roel Andriessen is chair-elect. Andriessen is responsible for the international sales group as a senior vice president at Tyson Fresh Meats.

Bruce Schmoll is vice chair, and a soybean and corn producers from Claremont, Minn. He has served on the USMEF Executive Committee representing the oilseeds producing sector. He also was past president of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association.

Dennis Stiffler, Ph.D., is the newest member of the USMEF officer team as secretary-treasurer. He is CEO of Mountain States Rosen and has represented the lamb production and feeding sector on the USMEF Executive Committee.