Beef producers seek youth for 'Beef Ambassador Program'

     The Jones County Beef Producers (President Lydia Grant and Beef Ambassador Coordinator Devan Cress) have compiled information regarding their new “Beef Ambassador Leadership Program.

What is the Beef Ambassador Leadership Program? What is the goal of offering this program?

     The goal for this program is to give youth the opportunity to connect with other young beef enthusiast while giving them leadership and educational opportunities. This program will consist of, but are not limited to, promoting beef in Jones County, educating consumers, on-farm experiences, school visits, participation in community events, responsibilities at the county fair and more.

Why was this program something the Beef Producers wanted to start and offer?

     This idea was brought up by multiple members at a few of our meetings. Jones County has not held a beef royalty program for many years. The group wanted to bring this back to Jones County but in a way that was inclusive to all. Traditionally in the past with the beef royalty program, a female participant would be crowned the “Beef Queen.” We are looking at this from a new angle and going in a direction that allows for a more inclusive approach for participation.

     Our group also looked at this as an opportunity to add some additional leadership/educational pieces on to it by having our very own members hold on-farm experiences for the youth in the program. We are planning to have at least two different on-farm experiences for the youth to participate in and get hands-on experience in the day-to-day operations of the beef industry.

Who would be eligible to take part in the ambassador program?

     To be eligible to take part in the Beef Ambassador Program you must be a resident of or attend a high school in Jones County and be in grades ninth through 12th. You do not have to own cattle or live on a farm to participate, nor do the parents have to be a member of the Jones County Beef Producers. We are looking for individuals who are enthusiastic about the beef industry.

What would the responsibilities be for a beef ambassador? What duties would they perform?

     The main responsibility of the Jones County Beef Ambassadors is to promote the beef industry and represent the Jones County Beef Producers at countywide events throughout the year.

Are you looking to have multiple Beef Ambassadors throughout Jones County?

     That is our goal. We would like to appoint one to three ambassadors, but this will all come down to the judge’s decision. Judges will be from outside of Jones County.

Will those people interested in being an ambassador have to go through the leadership program first? What will the program offer?

     We plan to include the candidates in a handful of activities throughout the summer and into the year. Once our Beef Ambassadors are appointed, they will take on the main responsibility of representing/promoting the beef industry in Jones County. We will provide educational/leadership activities for the Beef Ambassadors and candidates along with having them assist us with community events and opportunities.

Is there a date for the leadership program? Is there a deadline for submission?

     To participate in the Jones County Beef Ambassador Program, you will need to complete the application form and turn in all of the application requirements by the April 15 deadline. Applications can be found on our Facebook page and website. We have three ways in which you can apply: via email, Google form, or mail.

     The program will start in April and go until July when we appoint our Jones County Beef Ambassador(s). There will be a judging of applicants sometime in June via an interview process. We will then appoint one to three Jones County Beef Ambassadors on Monday, July 18, during the Cowgirl Queen Contest held at the Great Jones County Fair. The Beef Ambassador(s) reign will be from July 2022 to July 2023.

How do you see an opportunity like this benefiting Jones County youth? What do you hope they get out of it?

     We see this opportunity benefiting youth by giving them life skills through hands-on experience in the beef industry, public speaking skills with event attendance (school visits, county wide events, meetings, etc.). They will go through an interview process which will help teach them how to talk about themselves with confidence. Interviewing/selling yourself is a big part of our society and we are hoping this program will give them the confidence to grow in this area.



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