2012 National Beef Ambassador Team gets ready to get to work | TSLN.com

2012 National Beef Ambassador Team gets ready to get to work

Studies on the benefits of the beef checkoff program show that for every dollar invested, producers receive a $5 return on their investment. These dollars are earmarked for education, research and promotion, but with fewer cattle producers in the business paying into the program, there is less money to go around. Like a lot of checkoff-funded programs, each year the National Beef Ambassador Program (NBAP) fights to earn its share of the checkoff dollar. The NBAP is one of the most cost-effective uses of the checkoff dollar, enlisting the support and enthusiasm of young student leaders who are eager to share the beef production story with consumers at promotional events and through online social networking.

On Oct. 2, 2011, at the Shisler Conference Center and Hilton Garden Inn in Wooster, OH, the new 2012 National Beef Ambassador team was announced. John Weber, MN; Kim Rounds, CA; Arika Snyder, PA; Rossie Blinson, NC; and Emily Jack, TX; were chosen as the 2012 National Beef Ambassador Team at the annual competition, funded in part by the beef checkoff. Senior contestants, ages 17-20, were judged in the areas of consumer promotion, classroom presentation, media interview technique and issues response. Eighteen students vied for the top spots, with an additional 11 junior contestants, ages 12-16, competing, as well. Austin Gaspard from Louisiana earned the top spot, followed by Abigail Grisedale of California in second and Rachel Purdy from Wyoming in third, respectively.

The newly-selected agriculture advocates took home $5,000 in cash prizes sponsored exclusively by Farm Credit. Additionally five educational scholarships totaling $5,000 were given by the American National CattleWomen Foundation, Inc. For the past several years, one Beef Ambassador has also been chosen for a USDA internship in Washington, DC.

The new ambassador team shares a goal of pursuing careers in the beef industry. For example, Weber hopes to raise cattle; Jack, Snyder and Rounds hope to become large animal veterinarians; and Blinson has her eye on jobs in the agriculture communications field. The five members have a passion for the beef industry, the knowledge to represent cattlemen across the country and the drive to promote agriculture at every opportunity.

At the awards ceremony, two distinguished guests spoke to the ambassadors and their families. Cattlemen’s Beef Board Vice Chair Weldon Wynn and Bill Donald, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) president offered their words of praise on the program and how important these ambassadors are to the beef industry.

“With fewer checkoff dollars to go around, I have fought diligently through the years for this program,” said Wynn. “I give you all my word. As long as I’m here, this program must go on. This group of beef ambassadors is an impressive one; just look at all of you. Wow. These young people in this room are the future of our industry. The NBAP is truly an investment in our future.”

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“The big question that is always asked is this: Is the NBAP still relevant?” asked Donald. “The answer is simple. Yes. What makes this program relevant is the touch points these kids can make with consumers, both at promotions and online. Working together as a team is something these ambassadors do well. Teamwork is so important, and there’s nothing that exemplifies teamwork better than beef ambassadors. NCBA has a vision for the beef industry, and these young people are part of that vision. To maintain the relevancy of this program, the ambassadors must continue to increase their touch points, interacting with today’s consumers and the media. Kids, it takes three things to be successful and make connections with our consumers – knowledge, passion and youthful enthusiasm. And, guess what? The beef ambassadors have all three.”

In addition to checkoff dollars, the program is funded by the American National CattleWomen, Inc., Farm Credit, Certified Angus Beef, Shisler Conference Center, USDA, ZimmComm Media, Weaver Leather, Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative, New York Beef Industry Council, NCBA, Townsend Brangus, Ohio CattleWomen and Schiefer Insurance. Contest highlights included Amish farm tours, a contestant workshop conducted by Daren Williams, NCBA executive director of communications, and a keynote address on business etiquette by Jodie Beach, author, speaker and owner of Jodie Speaks.

The 2013 NBAP Contest will be held on Sept. 28-30, 2012 in Sacramento, CA. For more information, visit http://www.nationalbeefambassador.org or http://www.ancw.org.

Studies on the benefits of the beef checkoff program show that for every dollar invested, producers receive a $5 return on their investment. These dollars are earmarked for education, research and promotion, but with fewer cattle producers in the business paying into the program, there is less money to go around. Like a lot of checkoff-funded programs, each year the National Beef Ambassador Program (NBAP) fights to earn its share of the checkoff dollar. The NBAP is one of the most cost-effective uses of the checkoff dollar, enlisting the support and enthusiasm of young student leaders who are eager to share the beef production story with consumers at promotional events and through online social networking.

On Oct. 2, 2011, at the Shisler Conference Center and Hilton Garden Inn in Wooster, OH, the new 2012 National Beef Ambassador team was announced. John Weber, MN; Kim Rounds, CA; Arika Snyder, PA; Rossie Blinson, NC; and Emily Jack, TX; were chosen as the 2012 National Beef Ambassador Team at the annual competition, funded in part by the beef checkoff. Senior contestants, ages 17-20, were judged in the areas of consumer promotion, classroom presentation, media interview technique and issues response. Eighteen students vied for the top spots, with an additional 11 junior contestants, ages 12-16, competing, as well. Austin Gaspard from Louisiana earned the top spot, followed by Abigail Grisedale of California in second and Rachel Purdy from Wyoming in third, respectively.

The newly-selected agriculture advocates took home $5,000 in cash prizes sponsored exclusively by Farm Credit. Additionally five educational scholarships totaling $5,000 were given by the American National CattleWomen Foundation, Inc. For the past several years, one Beef Ambassador has also been chosen for a USDA internship in Washington, DC.

The new ambassador team shares a goal of pursuing careers in the beef industry. For example, Weber hopes to raise cattle; Jack, Snyder and Rounds hope to become large animal veterinarians; and Blinson has her eye on jobs in the agriculture communications field. The five members have a passion for the beef industry, the knowledge to represent cattlemen across the country and the drive to promote agriculture at every opportunity.

At the awards ceremony, two distinguished guests spoke to the ambassadors and their families. Cattlemen’s Beef Board Vice Chair Weldon Wynn and Bill Donald, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) president offered their words of praise on the program and how important these ambassadors are to the beef industry.

“With fewer checkoff dollars to go around, I have fought diligently through the years for this program,” said Wynn. “I give you all my word. As long as I’m here, this program must go on. This group of beef ambassadors is an impressive one; just look at all of you. Wow. These young people in this room are the future of our industry. The NBAP is truly an investment in our future.”

“The big question that is always asked is this: Is the NBAP still relevant?” asked Donald. “The answer is simple. Yes. What makes this program relevant is the touch points these kids can make with consumers, both at promotions and online. Working together as a team is something these ambassadors do well. Teamwork is so important, and there’s nothing that exemplifies teamwork better than beef ambassadors. NCBA has a vision for the beef industry, and these young people are part of that vision. To maintain the relevancy of this program, the ambassadors must continue to increase their touch points, interacting with today’s consumers and the media. Kids, it takes three things to be successful and make connections with our consumers – knowledge, passion and youthful enthusiasm. And, guess what? The beef ambassadors have all three.”

In addition to checkoff dollars, the program is funded by the American National CattleWomen, Inc., Farm Credit, Certified Angus Beef, Shisler Conference Center, USDA, ZimmComm Media, Weaver Leather, Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative, New York Beef Industry Council, NCBA, Townsend Brangus, Ohio CattleWomen and Schiefer Insurance. Contest highlights included Amish farm tours, a contestant workshop conducted by Daren Williams, NCBA executive director of communications, and a keynote address on business etiquette by Jodie Beach, author, speaker and owner of Jodie Speaks.

The 2013 NBAP Contest will be held on Sept. 28-30, 2012 in Sacramento, CA. For more information, visit http://www.nationalbeefambassador.org or http://www.ancw.org.

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