Stroud: 'I feel very blessed to be a part of this year's team'
By TIM HEARDEN
REDDING, Calif. -- Two students from the West are among five nationwide that have been chosen as National Beef Ambassadors after a competition last month in Sacramento.
Katie Stroud, a California State University-Chico sophomore and fourth-generation cattle rancher from Adin, Calif., and Jacqueline Brown, a National Honor Society member who attends St. Mary's High School in Medford, Ore., share in the honors.
They join Erin Morrison, of Minnesota; Emma Jumper, of Arkansas; and Chandler Mulvaney, of Alabama, as faces of the Beef Checkoff-funded ambassador program, it was announced Oct. 4.
They were among senior contestants between 17 and 20 who were judged on consumer promotion, classroom presentation, media interview technique and issues response at the Sacramento competition.
"I feel very blessed to be a part of this year's team," said Stroud, 19. "I really feel that we have a pretty great team. We have a common goal of promoting the beef industry, and we're going to make a great impact this year."
Brown, 17, who lives in Central Point, Ore., said she is the first Beef Ambassador from Oregon to make it onto the national team.
"I was very excited and very shocked that I made it," she said. "I'm very excited for this coming year and to get to represent the beef industry. It's an amazing opportunity to go to so many events and meet so many people in the beef industry."
Contestants from throughout the country vied for a place on the team as well as $5,000 scholarships from Farm Credit, the American National CattleWomen Foundation, Inc., and Monsanto. There was also a junior competition for students ages 12-16, in which Annie Beldon of California took second place.
"The caliber of contestants was outstanding," event organizer Sarah Bohnenkamp of National CattleWomen told the Capital Press in an email. "The product and industry knowledge, professionalism and passion they displayed was impressive."
Stroud, Brown and the other Beef Ambassadors will speak to various groups on industry issues and misconceptions and educate meal-time decision-makers about beef nutrition, cattle care, safety and other topics, according to a news release.
Both Stroud and Brown have already been active in promoting the industry. Stroud is an officer for Chico State's Young Cattlemen, and Brown serves as the Southern Oregon FFA district president.
Stroud is an animal science major at Chico State, and Brown plans to study ag business and communications in college next year in preparation for a career in agriculture. The two are their states' respective Beef Ambassadors.
National Beef Ambassador Program: www.nationalbeefambassador.org