North Dakota Beef Ambassador: Ashley Giedd
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your background in the beef industry.
I am currently a senior in Animal Science at NDSU. I come from a diversified agricultural background. My family runs a herd of registered and commercial Hereford cattle and farms. I have shown cattle since I was young both in my home state and across the country. I have always been very involved from the cow-calf side at my home all the way to finished cattle and slaughter through my involvement on the college meats judging team.
2. Why did you want to be a beef ambassador?
The beef industry is what I love. It is my biggest passion and I try my best to advocate for it every day and being a beef ambassador gives me another opportunity to educate people about beef and where their food comes from.
3. What did you do to prepare?
I went through the MBA program and BQA certification. I have attended several conferences and seminars about the industry and challenges it faces. I just try to gain as much information as I can so that my facts are accurate.
4. What do you enjoy about being an ambassador?
I really enjoy being able to open peoples’ eyes to where their food comes from and give them real facts about cattle. It is a great feeling when you can open someone’s eyes to the truth about our industry and they walk away with a new appreciation for what farm and ranch families go through to make sure that they have a healthy and secure food supply.
5. What do you think should be the top priorities of people in the beef industry going forward?
I think that as beef producers and industry workers we need to be mindful always of what society thinks. This has been a hot topic for some time but it is as important as ever. Try to make the industry more visible to the public and learn how to communicate with people that don’t agree with your beliefs. They might think a certain way only because they don’t know any better and many want to know what we have to say.
6. What challenges do you think the industry needs to be prepared for?
With cattle price and grain price trends in the recent year, I think we need to be mindful of where they are going in the future. Also our country is changing whether we like it or not. There will always be a push to try and remove conventional agriculture practices. We as ranchers need to be prepared for the repercussions on our operations from new laws and regulations.
7. What are your future plans?
When I graduate in the spring I plan on returning home to help my dad on our operation and to expand my herd of cattle.