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The AGgregator

From the Field: National Beef Ambassador Program

The National Beef Ambassador Program is a youth leadership program focused on educating consumers about beef and beef production. Beef Ambassadors share personal experiences, product samples and information about beef nutrition, recipes, preparation, animal welfare, environment and other important topics. Additionally, five young adults are chosen to represent the National Beef Ambassador Team to educate consumers at national events and through the media. The 2014 team was chosen in Springdale, Ark. at the National Beef Ambassador Contest last month. In this guest blog post, Katie Stroud, a 2013 national team member, recaps her time as a Beef Ambassador.

As you can imagine, this past year has flown by for the 2013 National Beef Ambassador Team. We have had the greatest time traveling from coast to coast bridging the gap between consumers and producers. When asked to recap everything I have learned this year I didn’t even know where to start, luckily I had my teammates to turn to!

Our term was filled with influential, and at times challenging moments, such as the Boston Marathon. At this event, Chandler Mulvaney, Erin Morrison and I jumped right into the world of nutrition and how it applies to running. We soon found that just like beef producers, runners are a community as well. We were saddened by the tragic event during the marathon since we had developed such a heart for the running community. This brought our team closer together as well and we were very excited to be reunited in Washington D.C. for the NCBA Legislative Conference.

The New York State Fair was a memorable event this past August. When reflecting on the trip, Erin said, “We were able to spend six hours a day doing cooking demonstrations and use that time to really share our personal stories and provide advice to ensure everyone has a great experience eating beef.” How neat is that? Even though the days were long and hard it’s nice to know that connections were made with New York consumers and that made the trip fun!

Being a member of the National Beef Ambassador Team is more than just taking fun trips and talking to event-goers about beef; it’s about pride, commitment and hard work. First, is being proud of the beef community and their pledge to continuously improve their practices. We have come a long way through the years and it shows! For example, did you know that America’s beef producers have reduced their carbon footprint by 16 percent? Second, is staying committed to advocating for beef by always thirsting for knowledge. There is always something new to be learned whether it be USDA protocols or consumer trends. Making sure you stay up-to-date on new information is a must. This leads us right to our third point of hard work. Advocating through social media, flying across the country, having in-depth conversations, all of this takes work! I know all of our Beef Ambassadors possess these traits and that is why we are so successful at telling our beef story.

It has been such an honor to serve the beef community this past year and give back to the industry that has given so much to us.