Orlando, Florida:

Saul attended the 2018 Potato Expo and Convention in Orlando, Florida in January 2018. He represented Potatoes USA and had the opportunity to meet with US potato seed growers from different states, researchers, scientists, industry related vendors and foreign visitors.

Saul Mercado also participated in the Potato Seed Task Force meeting where he presented the following reports:

  • Visit to Cuba
  • World Potato and ALAP Congress in Peru 2018
  • Guatemala seed trials

Houston, Texas:

Saul Mercado with Diego Bando, president of the Costa Rica Cattlemen’s Association and Dr. Nelson Huerta from Texas Tech University.

The International Livestock Congress was held in Houston, Texas in conjunction with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on February 28 and March 1, 2018.

Saul, in his capacity of member of the Board, promoted this event inviting cattlemen’s associations from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia and Paraguay among others.


Saul with young farmers in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Saul visiting cattle and potato producers, Augusto and Cesar Jordan. El Petén, Guatemala

Representing Potatoes USA, Saul traveled to Guatemala in May 2018 to conduct a conference on seed cutting at the research center of ICTA in Quetzaltenango. He also organized a round of trials in several locations of the country to test several varieties from the United States.

Saul had the opportunity to visit El Petén area, where potato production is new but with great potential.

Mr. Augusto Jordan agreed to establish trials with US varieties later this year.

This area in northern Guatemala is predominantly cattle country and rain forest. However, there are some valleys with some extended flat land where mechanized agriculture is possible.

Cusco, Peru:

President of Peru, Martin Vizcarra, opening the World Potato Congress. Cusco, Peru.

Visiting communities in the Andes at 13,000 feet above sea level.

World Potato - ALAP Congress. May 27 – 31, 2018:

More than 1000 people registered for the event from more than 50 countries.

The largest delegations were from Peru, China and the United States.

Biodiversity, food security and business were the focus of the congress.

The event included a small commercial exhibition and an ample display of Andean potato varieties.

The meetings were opened by Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra and Vice President Mercedes Aráoz. Talks dealt with climate change, late blight, breeding and many scientific topics.

Representing Potatoes USA, Saul Mercado participated in this event. Meetings with contacts from Panama, Uruguay and Cuba were organized and coordinated by Saul.

A Field Day visiting the “Parque de la Papa” of the Potato Park was part of the event. Participants had the opportunity to see firsthand the local production and research on Andean varieties in several communities.



Meetings with Agricultural Enterprises
in La Havana

Potato fields in Cienfuegos

At the end of March 2017, Saul Mercado participated in a US delegation organized by Potatoes USA to Cuba in a “fact finding mission”. The group included potatoes seed growers from different states in the country as well as officers of Potatoes USA.

Meetings with Cuban government officials from the Ministries of Agriculture and Foreign Trade and Investment as well as representatives of several agricultural enterprises were scheduled in the program. The group had the opportunity to visit potato fields in Cienfuegos.

Saul acted as the official interpreter for the group moderating and translating all the meetings.


With local producers in Guatemala

Evaluating US potato seed specific gravity

Representing the potato seed industry of the United States, Saul Mercado established experimental and validation trials in coordination with the Guatemalan Agricultural Research Institute (ICTA) to evaluate US potato varieties in different locations in the western highlands.

Saul also coordinated, moderated and translated a Seminar in Quetzaltenango for local producers on “Potato production” from seed handling to post harvest, good practices” organized with Frito-Lay.

A second round of trials were established in August to evaluate US varieties for yield, specific gravity and resistance to Late Blight and Nematodes.

Saul Mercado spoke on behalf of the United States Potato Board or Potatoes USA at a conference organized by CRIA, a nonprofit organization funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to promote agricultural research projects in Guatemala.

The event took place on November 10, 2017 in Guatemala City and was attended by professors and researchers from universities and research institutions, as well as Guatemala government officials and the Agricultural Counselor of the United States.

Mercado emphasized the importance of inter-institutional coordination to maximize resources and results in this field.

United States:

International Potato Seed Symposium, Denver, CO

Potato fields in Washington

Saul led a delegation from Guatemala attending the 2017 International Symposium on Potato Seed in Denver, Colorado and a tour visiting farms in the states of Washington and Oregon in the month of August. Farmers, agronomists and government officials from Guatemala were in attendance.


United States:

With cattlemen from Mexico and Temple Grandin

Saul Mercado participated in the 2016 Potato Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada representing the United States Potato Board, now Potatoes USA. Saul met US potato seed growers, vendors, scientists, government officials and experts in the field as well as some foreign visitors. He attended technical conferences and discussions of marketing, seed production and phytosanitary issues.

Saul coordinated a meeting of the Tri-Lateral Leadership Group during the NCBA (National Cattlemen’s Beef Alliance) Convention in San Diego, California. This group is formed by the presidents and leaders of the national cattlemen’s associations form Canada, Mexico and the USA. Saul moderated and interpreted the meeting and discussions of issues of mutual interest related to policies, border situation, markets, events, etc…

As a member of the Board, Saul attended the International Livestock Congress (ILC) in Houston, Texas in March 2016. Saul coordinated and translated a meeting of prominent cattlemen from Mexico with Dr. Temple Grandin during the event.


US potato varieties in Guatemala

Visiting local growers with US delegation

Three trips to Guatemala occurred during this year. Saul, representing Potatoes USA, organized the programs, schedules and coordinated the visits. Several municipalities were included, among them, Palencia, Jalapa, Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango, Todos Santos, San Marcos and Sololá.

Market visits, experimental and validation trials with US potato seed, seminars and field days were the highlighted activities within the program in addition to meetings with local producers, government officials and importers of potato seed.

All these efforts were translated into sales of US potato seed for the first time in Guatemala.


Saul with Ernest Jimenez and his wife

Equine farm in Baja California

The 2016 CNOG (National Cattlemen’s Association of Mexico) Convention took place in Tijuana, Baja California. In conjunction with this event, Saul organized a meeting of the Tri-Lateral Leadership Group (Canada, Mexico, USA) and coordinated a tour for the US and Canadian participants to visit local dairies and a horse farm.


Cattle operation in Mato Grosso

ACRIMAT, cattlemen’s association of Mato Grosso, hosted a meeting and tour in July 2016. Saul Mercado, in his capacity of Executive Secretary of the International Beef Alliance (IBA) in coordination with ACRIMAT officers and staff, organized the program which included a meeting of the IBA CEOs in Cuiaba, visits to cattle operations in the state of Mato Grosso and visits to JBS headquarters office and ABIEC, Brazilian Beef Exporters Association in Sao Paulo.


IMC was hired by CNOG (Mexican Cattlemen’s Association) to assist their delegation with their participation on the Tri-Lateral Leadership meeting held in Calgary, Canada during the 2016 Canadian Cattlemen’s Association Convention.


Experimental trial in Cerro Punta, Panama

Saul with growers from US Panama and Venezuela

Representing Potatoes USA, Saul Mercado attended the 2016 Congress of ALAP (Latin American Potato Association) in Panama. Saul worked with the Seed Team establishing an experimental trial demonstration during a field day in the congress. He assisted US growers in attendance with interpretation services and coordination of conversations with Latin American researchers, importers and producers.

New Zealand:

Lake Taupo, NZ

In his capacity of Executive Secretary of the International Beef Alliance (IBA), Saul organized the 2016 annual conference and tour of this organization in close coordination with Beef & Lamb New Zealand officers and staff. The gathering took place in October in Lake Taupo, NZ.

Andre Dayan, Marcelo Ribeiro and Jason Peeler at Texana Feeders.

Saul with local farmers Leonardo and Orlando Vargas

Aaron Castillo, Luis Castro and Saul Mercado

Ernesto Villalobos with goat producers form Coahuila



On the first week of the year, Marcelo Ribeiro, president of FIP Global Pty. Ltd. from Australia and his Associate Andre Dayan from Brazil, visited Texas looking for suppliers of beef for their customers in Japan and Korea. IMC organized a program for them which included visits to several feedlots and a packing plant.

Saul Mercado, with the support of Texas Cattle Feeders Association, coordinated meetings with the managers of Luckey Feedlot in Devine, Texana Feeders in Floresville, and Graham Cattle Company in Gonzales, Texas. On the second day, the group visited Kane Beef packing plant in Corpus Christi.

On February 20-27, representing the United States Potato Board, Saul Mercado conducted experimental trials with US potato seed in three locations in the northern mountains of Nicaragua. Saul worked with the local agronomist Armando Picado establishing plots in Jinotega and Matagalpa.

The main purpose of the trial is to demonstrate that planting cut seed is a viable method to reduce costs of production of potatoes if the producer follows the correct procedure.

The crop will be harvested in early June 2015.

On March 4-7, Ernesto Villalobos and Saul Mercado represented the Livestock Exporters Association of the USA in the trade and livestock show called ENGALEC 2015 in the city of Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico.

The event was mainly focused on the dairy industry and farm equipment and machinery. Goat producers and poultry farmers affiliated to Tyson were in attendance as well.

The program included interesting presentations related to dairy cattle, beef industry, goat production and poultry. Topics related to the perspective of the Mexican economy and on how to become an entrepreneur were well attended.

The trade exhibition displayed 55 exhibitors indoors and 25 outdoors.  The Livestock Exporters Association of the USA booth was visited by a diverse crowd, from students to farmers to veterinarians and agronomists to company representatives.

Saul Mercado and Ernesto Villalobos manned the booth and gathered about 60 contacts interested in LEA’s services.

Saul Mercado, Eduardo Nuztez, Keith Esplin and Amy Burdett

Field Day at the Latin American Potato Congress – Colombia

Bob McCan, President of NCBA, opening FNBA 2014 Conference

Bob McCan, Saul Mercado and Forrest Roberts at the General Session

Saul and Nicky Mercado with the Mexican delegation

Young leaders of the Five Nations Beef Alliance at the King Ranch

Ernesto Villalobos and Juan Hernandez

Rafael Olmos ranch

Hugo Duran and Saul Mercado at the trade show during the World Meat Congress

Five Nations Beef Alliance CEOs meeting in Beijing, China

McFaddin Enterprises


International Marketing Consultants set up a booth on behalf of Texal at the trade show of the CNOG (Confederacion Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas) Annual Convention in Zacatecas on May 18-21.Ernesto Villalobos managed the booth which was visited by cattlemen from all over Mexico. Ernesto collected contact information of more than 200 ranchers interested in purchasing cattle in the United States.

IMC also coordinated a ranch visit in Zacatecas in conjunction with this convention. Saul Mercado took a group of US and Canadian leaders to Mr. Rafael Olmos ranch.  The presidents of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Dave Solverson and the president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association from the USA, Bob McCan were in the group.

On June 15-17, Saul Mercado attended the World Meat Congress in Beijing, China, representing the Five Nations Beef Alliance. In conjunction with this global event, Saul coordinated a meeting of the CEOs of the Alliance.

The Congress of the Latin American Potato Association (ALAP) was held in Bogota, Colombia on September 28 to October 2, 2014. Saul Mercado attended in representation of the United States Potato Board. More than 700 attendees from all over the world, but mainly from the Latin American countries ,were in attendance.

Five Nations Beef Alliance Conference and Tour 2014:
In his capacity of Executive Secretary of the Five Nations Beef Alliance, Saul Mercado worked in the organizations of this annual event. This time, the United States was the host country and NCBA (National Cattlemen’s Beef Association) was the host organization. The program took place in the State of Texas from the 5th to the 11th of October 2014.

Leaders of the cattle organizations from Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Brazil and Paraguay were in attendance.

The event started with an Opening Session in Corpus Christi on Sunday October 5. The following three days, the delegates visited cattle operations in south and central Texas including the legendary King Ranch, McFaddin Enterprises, Graham Cattle Company, Sexing Technologies, and 44Farms.

The General Sessions were conducted at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop, a few miles east of Austin.



The Five Nations Beef Alliance had a meeting of their CEOs in Tampa, Florida during the NCBA Annual Convention on February 4, 2013. Saul Mercado coordinated the meeting and participated in an interview in the "Cattlemen to Cattlemen" TV program. Please check the link:

The 2012 Five Nations Beef Alliance (FNBA) Conference/Tour took place in Canada on September 9-15, 2012.

This event was hosted by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and brought leaders of the beef industry from Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and the United States. A group of 15 young ranchers joined the group as part of the FNBA initiative to promote future leaders.

Saul played and active role in the coordination of the event in his capacity as the FNBA Executive Secretary.

The agenda included important topics concerning the beef cattle industry such as:

The next FNBA Conference will be in Australia on September 2013.

Saul with Brazilian producers

Saul with growers from Panama

Saul visited potato growers, importers and government officials in Honduras on October 22 - 27, 2012.
One of the purposed of his trip was to expedite the issuance of import permits for United States potato seed.
Growers in Honduras like the quality of US varieties because they can get better yields and better price in the market with them.

Saul Mercado participated in the Latin American Potato Association (ALAP) Congress held in Uberlandia, Brazil on September 16-21, 2012. Saul was part of the United States Potato Board team. The Brazilian Potato Association (ABBA) and the Federal University of Uberlândia (UFU) hosted the conference. There were 732 participants including about 200 from other Latin American countries plus a few Europeans and North Americans.  There were three full days of concurrent presentations plus oral presentations of more than 80 posters.

A trade show with 48 exhibitors took place as well.

The fourth day of the ALAP Congress was a field day at the University’s research farm a short distance outside the city.  Breeders from the Brazilian federal government and São Paulo state government agricultural research organizations (EMBRAPA and IAC) presented new varieties they have developed.

The next ALAP Congress will be in Colombia in 2014.

In the News




Five Nations Beef Alliance

Cattle Council of Australia

National Cattlemen's Beef Association

Beef + Lamb New Zealand

Confederacion Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas

Canadian Cattlemen's Association

United States Potato Board

Aova Technologies

IMI Global, Inc.

Texas Department of Agirculture

Texas Farm Bureau


The Employer Group Inc.

United States Livestock, Genetics Export, Inc

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