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Category Archives: Membership

2014 National Beef Ambassador Program: It started with a shiny belt buckle

BY MADISON MARTIN, Tennessee 

Originally posted: http://madisonsfarmadventures.blogspot.com/2013/10/2014-national-beef-ambassador-program.html

1383294_10151618665596526_1802338134_nOne sunny day at a cattle auction in Georgia a woman approached a girl in a shiny buckle…the woman, Mrs. Callaway, asked the girl about her buckle.  I don’t know how but Mrs. Callaway felt or heard the girls passion through her words describing her life on the farm.  What Mrs. Callaway had up her sleeve next changed that girl’s life, forever.  OK maybe a tad much exaggeration.  That girl was me and I was at that sale looking for replacement cows with my Pop.  Mrs. Callaway thought I was worthy to know about this program called the National Beef Ambassador Program (NBAP) and she also told me that Tennessee didn’t have a program.  Duhh Duhh Duhh. I went home without any new cows but with information that could change the course of my life.
A side story, before I had heard about NBAP I wanted to work in the CIA. Now I wanted to be a Bovine geneticist/nutritionist/ some reproduction and an embryologist.  That’s a lot right!! Back to the story…..
Well, I pursued this program but not before I forgot our conversation many times.  I actually forgot and then finally remembered our conversation about a month before the contest!  Not having an official contest in my state I had to find someone in the beef community to write me a letter of recommendation. I choose Mrs. Houston a very influential cattlewoman in my area whom I look up to greatly.  She got the letter written, we sent off the registration, and BAM I was on my way to the Wooster, Ohio 2012 NBAP contest. Look at the NBAP page.  They do their contest with the next years date because that’s how the team will serve.  The Beef Ambassador contest has two divisions: senior and junior.  The junior division ages from 12-16, I was in that division. The seniors age from 17-21.  There were two parts of the contest I had to participate in: consumer demonstration and media interview.  I had the time of my life! That year we toured Certified Angus and Weaver Leather!!  I couldn’t believe that so many prominent members of the beef community were in attendance and it was an excellent trip. A big bonus for me were passionate friends I made for life.
Year 2012…September rolls around and my mom and I are talking about going again.  This year its in Sacramento, California.  That’s a long drive from Tennessee.  We decided to make it a family trip.  We visited every important site on I-40 from Tennessee to California.  Then we drove up the coast of California on the road that runs along the ocean to Sacremento for the contest.  We had five people crammed in a little rental  KIA.  We stopped along the way and saw all our family across the US.  When we finally arrived to Sacramento we were exhausted.  I couldn’t think about actually functioning let alone telling people about my farm.  Good thing it comes natural to me.  That year was probably the best. I knew the ropes and the people and what to look out for.
Year 2013…This years contest.  Tennessee finally got a contest! That made me super happy.  Long story short, I lost!  Now, I am glad I did though. It pushed me to be the best I could at this years contest in Springdale, Arkansas.  The home of one of my favorite cattlewomen! Geneice McCall, she is from a small town called Eureka Spring, Arkansas.  Anyways, the contest went on without a glitch.  I NOW thought this contest was the best!  I wonder if I can call them ALL the Best!   Why, yes, Yes I can! This is the third year I have gone and I tried with all my heart, soul, and mind to do the best I could do and make my mom and dad proud.  Before the awards ceremony I told my mom I didn’t care if  I placed because I knew I did the best I had done in a long time, I had fun with it all.  I made so many networking connections and I was proud of myself for what I had accomplished that weekend.
1379481_10151618665081526_1222568977_nThe awards ceremony…hmmm….I really can’t remember anything from it except I won consumer demonstration high individual! I then went on to receive second place. I was overjoyed. I was crying and shaking.  I thought all the juniors did fabulous. I didn’t think I could ever place but I did. You can watch some of the videoed contest here.

 

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Tweeting Tips from Mal the Beef Gal

There is so much to say and only 140 characters in which to say so on Twitter. How did Shakespeare put it? To Tweet or not to Tweet. That is the question. Or something very close to that, right? Today, I’d like to put a little pep in your step when it comes to Twitter so that we can continue to share our beef stories with consumers and our cattle community friends alike!

Malorie Bankhead 1My name is Malorie Bankhead, and I come to you over the blogosphere from California. I just recently graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Agricultural Communication in June, and I am also a past National Beef Ambassador. I first created my social media penname Mal the Beef Gal when I created my Twitter account in 2010 as a member of the National Beef Ambassador Team. One of our tasks as a National Beef Ambassador was to share the beef story over social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. I had previous experience in Facebook and YouTube, but Twitter made me a little nervous. To ease the beginner’s pain for you, or to help you become more engaged in the Twitterverse, I have created checklist that will help you conquer Twitter one character, hashtag, and tweet at a time.

About a month ago I was given the opportunity to serve as an intern for the American National CattleWomen in Denver at the Cattle Industry Summer Conference. One of my duties at the conference was to facilitate the Advocacy/Your Beef Story workshop and lead the Twitter portion of the workshop. First, we learned various myth-busting facts to present to consumers with questions about how beef is raised and how healthy it is for us to eat from Dr. Jude Capper. I followed up with ways to relay the messages we learned and other great beef story tidbits on Twitter. Here are a few tips to getting started and keeping your Twitter profile fueled to share your beef story.

  1. If you are new to Twitter and want to join, follow the advice of a very popular shoe company:  Just do it! Visit www.twitter.com, enter your name, email, and newly created password, and click the yellow “Sign up for Twitter” button. Then follow the prompts Twitter will give you to set up your profile. You will be able to select a profile picture (it is very important not to skip this step so that fellow Tweeters can put a face to your name), choose several people to follow on Twitter (this means you will be able to view their Tweets. They have to follow you in order to see yours), set your privacy settings, and create your first tweet!
  2. Let’s define some Twitter vocab. Here is some popular jargon you may hear used for Twitter. Hopefully these will help you!

Twitter:  The name of the social media network which allows you to post 140 characters in your message.

Tweet:  The 140 character message you produce on Twitter.

Follow:  You may follow someone in order to receive their tweets in your live feed.

Follower:  Someone who follows you on Twitter and receives your tweets in their live feed.

Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 11.28.49 AMHashtag:  A group of characters following the pound sign. Hashtags are a type of conversation markers. For example, if you include the #beef hashtag in one of your tweets, your tweet is grouped with all of the other tweets with #beef in them. Another example of a hashtag that is not necessarily a real word is #CISC13 which stands for Cattle Industry Summer Conference 2013. Sometimes conferences or other events come up with their own hashtag to group together all the tweets with the hashtag in them. You can enter any hashtag you want in the search bar of Twitter, and you will be directed to a feed of those hashtags.

Retweet:  You can retweet a tweet that someone has already posted. If you want your followers to be able to read the tweet, you can click the symbol that looks like two continuous arrows in a square underneath the tweet, and it will show up in your followers’ live feed.

Favorite:  You can click the star underneath a tweet to favorite it, which is the equivalent of liking a post on Facebook. Twitter will notify the author of the tweet that you favorited their tweet. It’s kind of like giving a thumbs up or your stamp of approval on a tweet.

Reply:  This is the arrow pointing left underneath the tweet, which will automatically tag the person who wrote the tweet you want to reply to. Twitter will also keep your tweets together in a conversation. You can click the talk bubble that says ‘view conversation’ to see your responses to each other.

Chats:  The cool thing about hashtags is that you can use them in Twitter chats. One kind of chat that I have participated in before is the #agchat. There is usually a host or a moderator to the chat who is responsible for tweeting the questions for the chat. Since it is so fast paced I use www.twubs.com to participate in the chat. This is a website that shows only the tweets with the chat hashtag in them and makes it easier to follow along and participate. Ag Chats are every Tuesday evening from 5-8 p.m. ET. Join in to see what it’s all about. You may choose just to view the chat your first time, but participating is highly encouraged!

3. If you want to share an article or a link you have found in a tweet, the normal URL will take up too many of your 140 character space. I utilize www.tinyurl.com to fix this problem. You can copy and paste the long URL into the box that says “make tinyURL”, and it will create a shorter link for you that you can copy and paste into your tweet to save room. You can find great links to share your beef story on www.factsaboutbeef.com and www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com.

And before it gets too confusing, I’ll pause for now. The point of this post is to intrigue you, not to overwhelm you, so I hope I have provided some sort of inspiration to you to jump into Twitter with both feet! For more encouragement I will share with you my Twitter secret: it took me nearly a year and a half to become a regular Twitter user. But when I made the commitment to share my beef story on Twitter the motto “practice makes perfect” helped a lot! I first made a plan to tweet three times a week, and then gradually increased my tweeting to multiple times a day. Now I’m a Twitter regular, and you can be too!

So, how can you put your new Twitter knowledge to good use? Dive in, and try it out! The best way to learn, I find, is to explore. Get comfortable with Twitter by clicking on new tabs and seeing what is available to you. What questions do you have about Twitter? Please leave them in the comments section of this blog!

Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter, if you’d like, @malthebeefgal. See you in the Twitterverse!

Sin-steer-ly,

Mal the Beef Gal

 

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Montana’s Global Reach

BY WALKER MILHOAN, YPC Leadership Board

Oro y Plata

Montana’s state motto represents the riches of this great land of the north. Montana has always been well versed in the pioneering spirit and that tradition continues today. Although the jetliner has replaced the covered wagon, the adventurous nature of the states’ inhabitants is continually taking them to the far reaches of the globe in search of making the job of growing food a bit more profitable, less cumbersome, and more interesting.

The Land Down Under…

945608_10151522406397849_974608673_nIf you haven’t met a rancher from Montana, just wait around a bit and it’s likely that you just might. From Russia to Africa to Australia, Montana’s beef sector has a grasp on nearly the entire world. 

Meet Karoline Rose, founder of Collegiate Stockgrowers at Montana State University. It could be argued that Karoline was the driving force behind the Collegiate Stockgrowers movement all across the country over the last year and a half. Karoline was recently in Australia where she worked on a large beef operation and learned the ways of cattle ranching from an upside-down perspective (that’s a hemispherical joke!).

“There is nothing better than a good set of neighbors.  Rural living here is very similar to the US and I love every minute of it.  We are knees deep in calves and yesterday Pete and Donna came over and tagged calves with us for 2 hours.  The 5 of us worked extremely hard and ended up tagging about 60 calves in 4 hours.  Without their help, we wouldn’t have even driven through every paddock.

You can read more about Karoline’s adventures here.

…Up Above,

1064233_10200896252435849_796907344_oIn Russia, Amy Dellera and Jane’a Elke are helping the Stevenson Sputnik Ranch with Artificial Insemination efforts and getting a little taste of what life is like nearly 6,000 miles from the ranch gate. Russia has been a top destination for Montana’s seed stock producers, and since 2010 nearly 44 of the states’ ranchers have sold live cattle or genetics to Asia’s largest country, clearing nearly $20 million in sales.[1] If that isn’t exciting news, what is?

…and in the Middle!

1014806_10152915889065557_382700201_oOn the African front, yours truly has been to Ghana once already this summer and I will again be returning in August with my brother Trey. Both Trey and myself are undertaking Fellowships as part of Texas Christian University’s – Institute of Ranch Management in an effort to establish relations with Ghanaian businessmen, ranchers, and government officials for the purpose of building a demonstration ranch in the Lower Volta Region of coastal Ghana.

The ranch will be similar to a fully-functioning extension service here in the U.S., and local cattlemen will be able seek assistance, learn production techniques, build livestock budgets, plan grazing rotations, and much more, all through the ranches various fellows that will be attending on a yearly basis. The Institute also plans to send various industry professionals to Ghana with the purpose of providing much needed advice on things such as animal health, genetics, pest control and more.

Back to Montana

So once again, if you haven’t met someone from Montana, wait around for a while and you likely will. As you can see, Montana is representing industry players on a global front. These professionals recognize the the face of a changing global economy, and the importance that will have in the future to the ranchers at home.

 

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