Wyoming Beef Ambassador: Laura Noble
Tell us a little about yourself and your background in the beef industry.
I’m a fifth generation cattle rancher from Cora, Wyoming. I’ll be starting my senior year of high school in September and plan to attend a community college in Wyoming thereafter to study agricultural business. I plan to continue running the family ranch after I graduate. Besides helping my dad with his herd growing up, I started my career in the beef industry when I was sixteen. I purchased five yearling heifers and after breeding them over the summer, I sold them in the fall as bred heifers.
Why did you want to be a beef ambassador?
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I want to excite my generation about the agriculture business. I enjoy reaching an audience that doesn’t typically get to learn about the beef industry and the career opportunities it presents.
What did you do to prepare?
I spoke with our local Sublette County coordinator and she did a mock interview of what the beef ambassador contest would be like. I also regularly read articles on the beef industry which was helpful in preparing.
What do you enjoy about being an ambassador?
I really enjoy the education outreach component of being a beef ambassador. I developed a beef industry presentation and shared it with a local fourth grader class. I was amazed by the students’ interest and their thoughtful questions.
What do you think should be the top priorities of people in the beef industry going forward?
The number one priority needs to be improved communication. The beef industry is constantly being attacked by inaccurate campaigns that keep consumers from purchasing our product – a product that is nutritious and sustainably raised. The beef industry needs to be proactive in promoting beef instead of being reactive.
What challenges do you think the industry needs to be prepared for?
Two significant challenges come to mind. First, beef production is greatly impacted by changes in climate patterns. My family just experienced a great growing season, but other ranches in the Pacific Northwest, for example, are experiencing incredible hardship with dismal snowfall and record breaking wildfires. There needs to be a conversation about how to make the industry more resilient to change. Another challenge that also represents an opportunity is how the beef industry wants to respond to changes in consumer preferences. The movement to eat healthier and understand where one’s food comes from is a trend that I expect to continue. As such, there is a great opportunity to listen and understand changes in consumer preferences and respond accordingly.
What are your future plans?
In the near term, I plan on attending a Wyoming community college to study agriculture business. I will then return to our family’s ranch to continue running it. I also plan on making time to travel through the United States and abroad to see how other areas in the world run their beef operations.
More information on my involvement with the beef industry is at the following blog: http://www.itsabeefywyomingblog.wordpress.com
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