Kern and Siskiyou County Youth Named 2015 California Beef Ambassadors
Sacramento, CA—Kern County native Abby Grisedale and Siskiyou County high school sophomore Angelee Dowling have been selected from among 24 contestants as this year’s senior and junior California Beef Ambassadors. The runners-up in the competition, held April 25 in San Jose, were Haley Kaae of Siskiyou County in the Senior Division, and Emyli Palmer of Tehama County in the Junior Division.
The California Beef Ambassador Competition prepares youth in agriculture to educate consumers about beef and beef production on a statewide level. The ambassadors share personal experiences, product samples and key beef messaging on nutrition, recipes, animal welfare, the environment and other key issues. In this year’s contest, 14 students in the junior division (ages 12-16) and 10 students in the senior division (ages 17-20) competed in three categories: a mock media interview, a mock consumer event, and issues response, in which they were judged on a written opinion piece.
Grisedale and Dowling will both advance to the National Beef Ambassador competition to be held September 25 and 26 in Denver, Colorado, where they will compete with representatives from other states for the chance to be among five young adults chosen to serve on the National Beef Ambassador Team and educate consumers on a national level. National Beef Ambassadors increase consumer reach through their attendance at promotional events during consumer expos, health fairs and in-store demonstrations.
“The Beef Ambassador Program provides youth who are passionate about farming and ranching with the preparation, training and platform to connect with consumers about beef, its benefits, and how it is produced,” said Jill Bright of the California CattleWomen and chairwoman of the 2015 California Beef Ambassador Competition. “Not only do the contestants become important voices for California’s beef producers, but they also gain skills and experience that will benefit them for years to come.”
“Given the questions today’s consumers have about where their food comes from, programs like this are vital to connecting the community with agriculture and fostering a greater understanding of how food is produced,” added Bill Dale, Executive Director of the California Beef Council.
The 2015 Beef Ambassadors both bring passion and enthusiasm for agricultural advocacy to the position. Abby Grisedale is part of the fifth generation of the Grisedale Ranch, a cow-calf operation in Granite Station. A sophomore at Oklahoma State University majoring in Animal Science and Business, Grisedale plans to work within the beef industry after she graduates and remains actively involved in her family’s ranch. Dowling, who is active in her local FFA Chapter in Etna, is planning to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo upon graduating from high school.
The California Beef Ambassador Competition is made possible each year by the California CattleWomen and the California Beef Council, and this year’s contest included support from the Santa Clara CattleWomen and the East Side Union High School District in San Jose.
The California Beef Council (CBC) was established in 1954 to serve as the promotion, research, and education arm of the California beef industry, and is mandated by the California Food and Agricultural Code. The council is comprised of 42 members who are appointed by the California Secretary of Agriculture. The council members set priorities for CBC and represent all segments of beef production within California including range cattle, dairy cattle, feedlots, packers/processors and the general public. For more information, visit www.calbeef.org.
The Beef Checkoff Program (www.MyBeefCheckoff.com) 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.