Angus Ambassador Finalist, Dakota Lovett
Dakota Lovett, Bladen, Neb., is a third-generation Angus producer. He is active in the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) and considers it a gift to have grown up raising Angus cattle.
“The Angus breed continues to grow and we need more people who can talk about Angus,” Lovett says. “There is a need for people, like the ambassador, who will have a conversation about the Angus breed and the beef industry.”
Lovett, a freshman at Southeast Community College in Beatrice, Nebraska, recently competed in the 2015 Angus Ambassador competition July 23 in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Hosted by the NJAA, Lovett visited the American Angus Association® headquarters along with three other finalists and their families.
“These contestants are proof that there is a bright future for the Angus industry, and opportunities through the National Junior Angus Association have prepared them well to be advocates for the Angus breed,” says Kasey Brown, Angus Journal associate editor and one of this year’s judges.
Judging the competition, along with Brown, were Adam Conover, Association regional manager for Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas; Tom Burke, Association board member; Brian Pine, K-Coe Isom field analyst, and Corbitt Wall, DV Auctions.
To be considered for the position each junior member submitted a cover letter, résumé and two essay responses. The top candidates were invited to the American Angus Association, where they gave a 3-5 minute presentation followed by 5 minutes of questions.
Topics of presentations ranged from sustainability to Angus advocacy. Lovett’s presentation addressed the new dietary guidelines released in 2015 by the Health and Human Services (HHS) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). He discussed the potential problems the Angus industry could face due to the report’s recommendation that Americans eat less red and processed meat.
After the presentations, the judges selected Will Pohlman, Prairie Grove, Arkansas, as the 2015-2016 Angus Ambassador. Pohlman is a student at the University of Arkansas double majoring in biochemistry and animal science. Joining Lovett as finalists were Haley Throne, Lexington, Georgia, and Sierra Day, Cerro Gordo, Illinois.
Funded by the Angus Foundation, the 2015-2016 Angus Ambassador will represent the breed at industry events throughout the United States and Canada, including the 2015 Angus Means Business National Convention & Trade Show; a Certified Angus Beef® Building Blocks seminar in Wooster, Ohio; the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Cattle Industry Annual Convention; the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Annual Research Symposium and Convention; and the Guiding Outstanding Angus Leaders (GOAL) Conference in Canada.
For more information about the NJAA or the Angus Ambassador program, visit http://www.ANGUS.org.
–American Angus Association