Conde youth named SD Beef Ambassador
Jessica Osterman of Conde was selected 2008 South Dakota Beef Ambassador during the state-wide contest July 25 in Huron. Osterman, who will be a freshman majoring in Animal Science at South Dakota State University this fall, is the daughter of Todd and Sandy Osterman. As winner of the contest’s senior division (age 17-20), she will be representing the state in the National Beef Ambassador Contest in Oklahoma City in October.
The Beef Ambassador Program strives to provide an opportunity for youth to educate consumers and students about beef nutrition, food safety and stewardship practices of the beef industry. Contestants on the state level were required to present a five to eight-minute speech, be interviewed, and write a response to a negative news article concerning the beef industry.
Nicole Hamilton, daughter of Scott and Paula Hamilton of Hitchcock, won the Beef Ambassador junior division (age 12-14), and Kierra Leddy, daughter of Donnie and Krecia Leddy of Stockholm, won the junior-junior division (age 10-11).
The overall goal of the Beef Ambassador Program is to tell the beef production story to consumers and students through promotion, education, media, and the online environment, says Ruth Farnsworth, one of the program’s coordinators on the state level.
In South Dakota, the Beef Ambassador assists at fairs and events throughout the year.
“The role Ambassadors play in communicating and educating people about the entire beef production chain from farm to fork is invaluable,” says Barry Jennings, executive director of the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC), the program’s primary sponsor. “Now more than ever we need young, enthusiastic spokespeople to combat the misinformation about our industry.”
In addition to the all-expense paid trip to the national contest, Osterman received cash prizes, South Dakota Beef Bucks, a fleece jacket and other prizes. Each contestant received a Beef Ambassador shirt, cash and other prizes.
The Beef Ambassador Contest trains spokespersons for promotion of beef and the beef industry. Through their preparation for the competition, contestants gain knowledge about the nutritional and economic value of beef, environmental issues facing the industry, as well as cooking principles, safe handling and the versatile use of beef.
The South Dakota CattleWomen hosted the contest with coordination by the Southern Belle CattleWomen and the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Auxiliary. Both the national and state contests are funded in part by America ‘s Beef Producers through the $1-per-head Beef Checkoff.