2010 National Beef Ambassadors Announced
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Ellen Hoffschneider, Arlington, Neb., Malorie Bankhead, Livermore, Calif., Rebecca Vraspir, Laramie, Wy., Jackson Alexander, Anadarko, Okla., and Mandy-Jo Laurent, Winnsboro, Texas were chosen as the 2010 National Beef Ambassador Team winners at the annual competition, funded in part by the beef checkoff, held Oct. 9-11 in Fort Smith, Ark. Contestants were judged in the areas of consumer promotion, classroom presentation, media interview technique and issues response.
Contestants from throughout the country vied for a place on this elite team of agriculture advocates and $5,000 in cash prizes sponsored exclusively by Groseta Ranches, LLC. Additionally five educational scholarships totaling $3,750 were given by the American National CattleWomen Foundation, Inc. For the past three years, one Beef Ambassador has been chosen for a prestigious USDA internship in Washington D.C.
Ellen Hoffschneider of Arlington, Neb., is a multifaceted individual. A leader in FFA, 4-H, drama, Honor Society and student government she works hard in each activity to accomplish her goals. Malorie Bankhead is a freshman attending California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo in San Luis Obispo, Calif., majoring in Agriculture Science Communications with the hopes of one day becoming an agricultural journalist or an agricultural public representative. Malorie is very passionate about the agricultural industry, and dedicates her time to become involved in any way she can. Rebecca Vraspir is a sophomore at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, studying Animal Science with an emphasis in Business and Production. Becky is a member of Sigma Alpha Professional Agriculture Sorority, where her and her fellow sisters participate in activities to inform the public about the importance of agriculture in our everyday lives. Jackson Alexander has shown cattle for 12 years and helps raise registered Herefords on the family farm. Jackson currently helps with the breeding, delivery, and care of his Herefords. Mandy-Jo Laurent started showing cattle at the age of 9. Her herd now includes her own "bred and owned" registered Brahmans and Santa Gertrudis cattle. She plans to attend law school and will become a lobbyist in the agriculture industry.
While preparing for this national beef promotion and education competition, youth across the nation learn about beef and the beef industry within their family and with support from state CattleWomen, Cattlemen’s associations and state beef councils. The preparation highlights industry issues of current consumer interest. Winners of the state competitions compete at the national level receiving additional media training. After the event, as youth ambassadors, they speak to industry issues and misconceptions, while educating peers and others about food safety, nutrition and the Beef Checkoff Program at consumer events, in the classroom and online.
Contact: Carol Abrahamzon, (507)724-3905 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.