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Guest Opinions

More Than a Résumé Filler

The Wyoming Beef Ambassador program means more to me than just another program to help fill my résumé. The purpose of this program is to educate and inform consumers about the beef community. This includes, but is not limited to, how we raise beef, why beef is healthy and safe handling of beef. 

Promoting the beef community in a positive light is critical, especially since agriculture is facing adversity from anti-agricultural groups like PETA and the Humane Society of the United States. I work hard to promote the beef community because we have an excellent story to tell. I know that we all are up bright and early to ensure our animals have the food and water they need, and I want consumers to know how hard we work to bring beef to their tables. This is the life that I love, and by sharing my passion for the beef community, hopefully I can change their minds about beef too.

Since April, I have kept very busy promoting the beef community. The first event the Wyoming Beef Ambassadors attended was the Earth Day Barbecue at the University of Wyoming, hosted by Alpha Gamma Rho and the Wyoming Collegiate Cattle Association. This was a great consumer event. We served over 1,100 hamburgers.and were able to interact with students and faculty about the beef community. 

The main concern people had was about the nutrition in beef. Beef is often perceived as an unhealthy indulgence, which could not be further from the truth. We were able to share that beef is packed with nutrients your body needs, such as zinc, iron and protein. Overall, the event went very well. 

I have also completed several classroom presentations. I presented to second and third grade classrooms in my community this month. I had several activities for the students. 

One of their favorite parts of my lesson was when I talked about why we eat beef. I taught the students actions for some of the nutrients we get from beef. One example I used was protein. Beef helps our body build muscle, repair wounds and provides us with energy. After discussing why we need protein in our diets, I taught them one simple action to remember it by. For protein, I had the students show off their biceps, because protein helps build muscle. The students knew all of the actions by the time we were done. Some of the students even wanted to go through the nutrients just one more time before I left the classroom. 

Another part of my presentation that they all really enjoyed was about how beef impacts our communities. I had each of the students wear hats that represented various jobs impacted by the beef community, like a chef hat or a felt hat for a rancher. The students seemed surprised at how big the impact of one cow was on the whole economy of the town. It wasn’t just the rancher selling his cattle. He had to buy feed from a farmer and use a truck driver to transport his cattle. 

In April, we were very fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to Greg Peterson of the Peterson Farm Brothers speak in Torrington. We learned some great lessons on how to advocate for agriculture. Their story was awesome to hear. They have reached so many people, all by creating parodies of popular songs with an agricultural twist to them.

We have also taken to social media. Be sure to like our Facebook page, “Wyoming Beef Ambassador Team.” We update this page every day with facts, recipes and photographs about the beef community. To try and reach more millennials, I have started my own Facebook page, “A Day In the Life of a Princess Farmer.” On this page, I post pictures and talk about the work I am doing on my family’s farming/ranching operation. With so much misinformation out there, I encourage everyone to advocate for agriculture and tell the public what is really happening on our farms and ranches. We have a very powerful tool with social media, and the ability to reach consumers is at the tip of our fingers. 

I have been really surprised at how easy it is to get started and reach consumers. I am excited to see where else this program will take me. All I know is the Wyoming Beef Ambassador Program is much, much more than a résumé filler.

Find the Wyoming Beef Ambassadors and Rachel on Facebook at facebook.com/WyBeefAmbassador and facebook.com/WyomingPrincessFarmer.