Calli Pritchard joins National Beef Speakers Bureau
The members of the American National CattleWomen, Inc. (ANCW) are trying something new in 2011. They have recently developed the National Beef Speakers Bureau (NBSF), a team of volunteers who will travel across the country sharing the beef production story.
Applications have closed, and volunteers were recently selected. A group of 20 team members make up the inaugural group for 2011. Volunteers are required to connect with and educate consumers regarding beef production, ultimately conveying beef as an easy choice at the meat case. Team members will accomplish just that by giving 25 speeches by Sept. 30, 2011, as well as training 10 others to do the same.
This opportunity peaked the interest of Calli Pritchard, an agriculture leadership and communications student at South Dakota State University (SDSU). Pritchard applied for a spot on the NBSB team, and on Christmas Eve, she received the news that she had been accepted into the program. Pritchard is no stranger to agriculture advocacy, and the NBSB program is a natural fit for this former South Dakota Beef Ambassador, who spent a year promoting beef at consumer events across the state.
“To apply, I sent in a 3-minute video displaying my public speaking skills, along with filling out some paperwork,” said Pritchard. “There were no guidelines on what to include in your video. I chose to show the audience my cowherd. I told a short story about myself and then walked through our cattle. It was a cold, windy day, but I showed them my cow, ‘Freckles.’ I explained that Freckles was my first show heifer, meaning she is 13-years-old. I explained how proud I was of her longevity and that working for a veterinarian for seven years taught me skills to properly manage our herd.”
Pritchard’s friendly and personable attitude landed her a spot on the team. In addition to her enthusiasm for the beef industry, she also had to be Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified, a graduate of the Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) program and a member of the ANCW in order to qualify for this program.
“My goals are to help the beef industry, expand my public speaking skills and learn how to properly address consumers, along with traveling to every event I can in this next year,” added Pritchard, of her upcoming year as a spokesperson. “[As a former] South Dakota Beef Ambassador, my job was to promote the finished project. Through this new position, I will be helping improve the beef industry’s ‘image’ to consumers. Our duty is to tell the beef story and to reinsure the consumers confidence in our product.”
The next step for Pritchard will be attending a two-day training session at ANCW headquarters in Denver, CO on Jan. 29-31 to prepare for her year as a volunteer on the NBSF team.
In evaluating for candidates, the ANCW sought beef producers who had: knowledge, confidence and passion for the cattle industry; a proactive delivery and desire to tell “the beef story;” an ability to improvise without notes and respond with appropriate information to the audience at any given moment; a calm demeanor and manner when confronted; a willingness to travel and devote time to speaking; a commitment to complete the required number of presentations and the required travel-schedule to do so; and a well-groomed appearance. Applications were due Dec. 1, 2010, and duties will begin at the start of 2011.
Pritchard said the good news of her accepted application was, “The best Christmas present I could have asked for!”
Her enthusiasm for this project is contagious, and she will undoubtedly do a great job in representing her fellow beef producers and regaining consumer trust in farmers and ranchers once again.
editor’s note: for more information on the national beef speakers bureau program, visit http://www.ancw.org/nationalbeefspeakersbureau.aspx, or e-mail ancw at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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