The Missouri Grocers’ Association (MGA) is a longtime partner of the Missouri Beef Industry Council (MBIC). They host an annual convention highlighting important subject matter pertinent to their members from across the state.
This year, MBIC was invited to participate in a session at the convention. We were asked to join a round table discussion during the annual Missouri Grocer’s Association Convention alongside other Missouri agricultural commodity groups. Along with MBIC, representatives from the Missouri Soybean Association, Missouri Pork Association, and Missouri Prime Beef Packers were active in the discussion.
The round table conversation consisted of sharing how success in the agriculture industry is directly tied to the success of the food and grocery industries. The pandemic affected nearly all areas of life as we know it, and agriculture was no exception.
Missouri Grocers Association members were able to listen to industry professionals share personal notes about their view of the pandemic changes. Round table members illuminated the perspective of farmers, ranchers, and agriculturalists across the state.
Missouri Beef Industry Council Executive Director, Mark Russell, spoke about his personal connection to the industry, challenges that producers faced in the wake of the pandemic, and market projections. Russell shared that beef producers faced many obstacles during COVID-19 pandemic with the hopes of creating an environment of understanding for grocery store and retail workers.
Another aspect of the discussion was how the beef market and industry will look and change in the coming year. When asked what the largest challenge the beef industry will face in the coming months, Russell indicated how the struggle to find a steady labor force will be a major hurdle for industry members. By gaining an understanding of the agriculture sector and challenges faced before the product reaches their shelves, Missouri Grocers Association members and convention attendees are better able to represent and explain the industry to their customers.