The Sommet de l’Élevage is holding its 26th annual event, October 4–6, in Clermont-Ferrand, France. The event is the European Union’s (EU) largest livestock exposition, featuring competitions and a tradeshow. This year, the Sommet is especially exciting for U.S. cattle producers because, for the first time ever, Americans have been invited to the event.
Reneé Strickland of Strickland Ranch and Exports, Inc., and former president of the Livestock Exporters Association, is among the few Americans to be attending the event. She invites several French farmers to her Florida ranch every year, which prompted her interest in the Sommet. Now that Strickland has the opportunity to actually attend, she has a key goal in mind.
Strickland, who will be attending the Sommet on behalf of the Livestock Exporters Association, would ultimately like to develop trade of live cattle between the European Union and the United States. According to Strickland, this is an idea that has been in the works for years, and she hopes to help move it along by making connections with producers from France.
She sees this trip as an opportunity to learn from other producers as well. “It’s really nice to get to trade ideas. They (the people of the EU) really do think differently than we do, and we all learn from each other,” she says. Strickland adds that the show is also attended by cattle producers outside of the EU, such as those from the Middle East.
When it comes to trading livestock and other animals, like poultry, Strickland highly admires the EU’s trading techniques. She would like to discuss their traceability with them, in the hopes of being able to help U.S. producers’ trade efforts, making them more competitive in the global marketplace.
Strickland is very pleased that the French have invited Americans to attend the Sommet. “Being a global economy, that’s where it’s at. We’re all going to be trading with each other,” she concludes.
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