Several USDA officials are traveling to Denver this week to speak at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association's annual convention, including USDA Deputy Under Secretary of Foreign Agricultural Services Darcy Vetter.
"I'll be talking with them about our effort with Japan and China to open their market," Vetter said. "And also our efforts with South Korea to get them to move from 30-months to full access to U.S. beef."
Based on progress in talks during recent months Vetter says U.S. negotiators and supporters like Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack are optimistic that U.S. cattle producers can regain some ground in exports. She says many cattle producers feel the same way.
"I think cattle producers are certainly hopeful that we can take advantage of some of that momentum and make this the year to do that," Vetter said.
Some countries are starting to recognize that World Health Organization Standards say U.S. beef is safe, but Vetter says there is still work to be done to reopen those markets.