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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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Marbling matters to me, to you and all of us

By MIRANDA REIMAN, assistant director of industry information for Certified Angus Beef LLC

During my first pregnancy as my doctor set out to prescribe prenatal vitamins, he tried to survey the amount of iron I get naturally in my diet.

PRIME“How often do you eat red meat?”

“Hmm..at least two times a day,” I replied.

“You mean twice a week, right?’

“No. Usually two times a day.”

The facial expression that followed leads me to believe that he was either jealous or he’d never heard that response before. (Truth told, it was probably both!

Growing up in the ag community and now working for the Certified Angus Beef ® brand, I know I’m not “the average consumer.” So when I want to know what the average consumer wants, I look to some good, unbiased research.

Me & my beef eatersSo here are some things I’ve picked up from the experts:

  • Meat scientist Mark Miller and his team at Texas Tech recently did a study with beef strips: “We’ve found that marbling level has a really big impact on the consumer’s desire for beef. Tenderness is by far the most important factor, but once a steak meets a consumer’s threshold for tenderness, then flavor becomes the sole driver.” Surveys reveal more than 91% of the beef in today’s retail case meets tenderness expectations.
  • The National Beef Quality Audit, conducted every five years, sent a clear signal again in its most recent results: Target-consumer consensus suggested an ideal mix of 5% Prime and 31% Premium Choice. Actual production levels for all beef in those categories during 2011 was 2% and 20%, 14 points short of expectations. “If producers get the right signal, and they are pretty good managers, they can hit the target,” said Keith Belk, Colorado State University meat scientist. “But they have to have the right signal.”
  • To that point, we often say that consumers vote with their wallet. Economist Ted Schroeder is a beef demand guru and he agrees. “Beef demand woes historically have surrounded quality issues with beef products. We needed to start offering customers a more predictable eating experience or we were going to see continually declining demand. Higher quality and branded products do that or they don’t last. If they don’t deliver consistently they’re out of the game.” Schroeder and his team came up with a CAB demand index and subsequent update to help quantify that.
  • Beef is expensive, especially compared to pork and poultry. That underscores the need for marbling. “As prices rise, consumers become more discriminating with regard to meat spending. Marbling and its beneficial impact on taste becomes increasingly important. Higher levels of marbling help to buoy beef’s value proposition as consumers are asked to spend more for it,” says our very own John Stika, CAB president.

2013_06_04_mr_Vermilion Ranch-61The bottom line? Marbling matters, certainly to us at CAB, but also to you. It matters to your neighbors and to that consumer in New York City. It matters to anyone who wants to continue to grow the U.S. beef industry and believes in its future. Give it the credit it deserves.

May your bottom line be filled with black ink,

Miranda

PS-To keep up on this kind of information and to see what we’re up to on the cattle production side of the business, check out the CAB Supply Development team’s blog at www.blackinkwithcab.com.

Miranda Reiman, assistant director of industry information for Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB), says agriculture communications is not only her career, but a passion. That was cultivated growing up on a grain and livestock farm in southern Minnesota, where she was active in 4-H and industry organizations.

She received an agriculture journalism degree, with an animal science minor, from South Dakota State University where she freelanced her way through college.

Reiman currently works out of a home office at Cozad, Neb. She writes articles for print, radio and web outlets to help commercial Angus producers and feedlot partners make connections and add value to their cattle. She also directs their producer efforts in social media and coordinates the industry information internship program.

Reiman, and her husband, Mark, have three little beefeaters of their own, with one more on the way. 

 

 

 

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2013 Cattle Industry Summer Conference Schedule ~ YPC

FROM THE YPC TEAM:
Summer-Conf-logo-2013
The 2013 Cattle Industry Summer Conference will feature meetings of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, American National CattleWomen, Inc. and National Cattlemen’s Foundation. Here cattle industry members will meet in both NCBA Policy committees and subcommittees, as well as Joint committees and subcommittees to discuss current developments, to work on initiatives developed at Convention and to make plans for the upcoming fiscal year that begins October 1.
CISC is August 7-10 at the Denver Hyatt Regency.
The Young Producers’ Council will meet during the conference and you are invited to attend its meeting and social Thanks to Caterpillar for generously sponsoring the YPC events!  Below is the schedule of events. Please remember to use #CISC13 in your tweets about the conference and feel free to reach us at @BeefUSA and @YPCBeef.
6809277669_6eb164cc33
Wednesday, August 7
 
3-5PM: YPC Leadership Workshop
  • Where: Room Agate AB at the Hyatt Regency Denver
  • Who: YPC Leadership and Task Force Members
  • What: Caterpillar Speakers Chris Cahal and Brad Cofield: “Leadership Skills and Sound Business Decisions in Cyclical Markets”
6:30-8:30ish: YPC Leadership Dinner hosted by Caterpillar
  • WhereWynkoop Brewery – 10 minute walk from the Hyatt.
  • Who: YPC Leadership and Task Force Member
Thursday, August 8
 
3-5PM: YPC Summer Meeting
  • Where: Room 103 at the Colorado Convention Center (across the street from Hyatt Regency Denver)
  • Who: All YPC Members and anybody who wants to become a YPC member. 
  • What: How NCBA Committees Work, How Policy works, and Why It Matters
    • Kent Bacus and Kristina Butts from our DC office will be giving real life examples of how they take NCBA policy and go to work for us on Capital Hill.  NCBA’s CEO, Forrest Roberts, will be wrapping things up.
8-9PM: YPC Social
  • Where: Mineral Hall Foyer at the Hyatt Regency Denver
  • Who: YPC Members and the NCBA Executive Council.
  • What:  Enjoy cocktails (all attendees will receive 1 free drink ticket) and a great view of Denver.
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State affiliate meetings provide excellent opportunities for young producers

BY SARAH RYAN, YPC Leadership Board

996830_10152955590760597_973350577_nDuring the summer, many state affiliates of NCBA will hold their bi-annual meeting. For young individuals in the beef industry these meetings provide many opportunities to get involved and learn. For example, you can participate in networking, policy discussions, classes/tutorials, tours, and the sharing of new ideas with others in the beef industry.

Last week I attended the Idaho Cattlemen’s Association mid-year meeting.  While there, I had the chance to interact and learn from the 250 attendees of all ages from around the state and from neighboring states. This experience just reinforced how valuable state affiliate meetings can be.

I’ve found that being able to network with different individuals can be extremely valuable for helping as I interact folks in the business.  Not only that, but networking and sharing of ideas go hand-in-hand. As a young producer you may know of new technologies that can help another individual, while others have years of experience to share with you.

Along with networking, the sessions can also be a great way to learn about something new. While it wasn’t the most popular event of the meeting—there was golf at the same time—I thought the rangeland monitoring class was very educational.  It gave us the chance to meet new people, tour land we didn’t know, as well as learn how the rancher uses and monitors his rangeland.  Not only did he offer insight into rangeland monitoring, but some of the people in the class had been monitoring their rangelands for 4 generations.

You’ve probably heard you can’t improve what you don’t measure.  Well, rangeland monitoring is a great way to improve your use of the land.  Plus, it tells a great story about the importance of livestock in keeping a thriving plant community.  As a young producer attending these workshops is important for understanding what it could take to participate in a viable beef industry for many years.

582399_10152395188690597_605326651_nAnother session at the meetings was spent discussing new and recurring policies.  One trick I learned when it comes to analyzing policy is to consider if it “is this something that will help, hurt or have no impact on the long-term viability of the cattle industry.”  If a policy doesn’t help the long-term beef industry, there may be words or phrases you could add to the policy to help it have more of an impact.  As young producers, we should be striving for policies that preserve the industry for many years. Look for solutions not just patches to existing problems.

For the reasons I’ve listed above, and many more I hope you take time this summer to attend your state’s summer meeting.  Enjoy the opportunity to learn and participate in creating a plan that keeps the beef industry going for many generations.  And try to talk to as many new people as possible – networking is an excellent way to learn new things.

Finally, I hope to see you at the NCBA summer meetings in Denver, August 7-9, specifically at the YPC discussions – networking with other young producers is critical!  When you come, bring ideas and policies you’ve heard discussed at a state level to share with the group. You never know what you might learn.

 

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New Cattlemen’s Group Hits the Ground Running at K-State

By: John Sachse – Kansas State University Collegiate Cattlemen, YPC Member

Members of K-State Collegiate Cattlemen visit Judd Ranch in Pomona, KS

Members of K-State Collegiate Cattlemen visit Judd Ranch in Pomona, KS

When sitting down to discuss the direction the founding members wanted to take the new KSU Collegiate Cattlemen’s Club (CCC), they envisioned a club with the purpose of promoting and advocating the beef industry and animal agriculture at the local, state and national level. They wanted an organization where members are encouraged to further expand their knowledge about the beef industry and engage with the public in a positive manner.

After the club’s first full year that mission and goal have been accomplished. The club has engaged with students on campus and has spoken with top industry producers while networking and promoting the beef industry. The founding members wanted to make sure they developed a club that would continue to make an impact on campus for years to come so they felt it was important to put together a detailed constitution and set of bylaws for future leadership guidance. One of the ways CCC helps its members build leadership and networking is the relationship it holds with the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA). Ten members attended the 100th Annual KLA Convention in November 2012. Members learned about the KLA policy making process, learned new ways to engage with consumers, heard from numerous guest speakers and networked with other young livestock industry leaders.

At each monthly meeting, CCC brings in a guest speaker to educate members on beef industry news and opportunities. The club members can utilize the education they receive in their advocating process. One member took these learned skills and created a YouTube video, “Beyond the Fence,” to showcase what beef producers do on America’s ranches. Club members spend time talking to both students and producers at events such as the 100th Annual KSU Cattlemen’s Day event, KLA Legislative meeting, participating at beef promotional events and getting involved during K-State’s AgFest. At the 2013 K- State Open House, CCC, along with close partner KSU Collegiate Cattlewomen, set up a booth themed “When a Cow is More than a Cow”. Those in attendance included KSU students and the community, many of whom have limited agricultural backgrounds, but were able to learn just how efficient our industry is with the many commercial household products that are made from beef by-products.

Members of the K-State Collegiate Cattlemen group pose with Baxter Black, cowboy poet and veterinarian, at the 100th Annual Kansas Livestock Association Convention

Members of the K-State Collegiate Cattlemen group pose with Baxter Black, cowboy poet and veterinarian, at the 100th Annual Kansas Livestock Association Convention

Collegiate Cattlemen’s also took time to tour local beef operations such as the Kansas Artificial Breeding Service Unit “KABSU” and Judd Ranch in Pomona, Kansas during the spring. Club members are also hoping to gain livestock sale experience by volunteering at local ranches. Several members volunteered their services at the Spring Kansas Beef Expo sale. These members were able to network with other cattlemen and promote our club name to those producers who sold cattle that day. The members are continuing to look to further develop their skills in the future with new opportunities and experiences. Each one of us rides for a different brand, but here we ALL ride for one brand….the beef industry!

 
 
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