Last weekend, Demi Snider of Hardin County (Ohio) joined Rachel Purdy (Wyoming), Will Pohlman (Arkansas), Alicia Smith (Texas), Kalyn McKibben (Oklahoma) in being chosen as the 2015 National Beef Ambassador Team at the annual National Beef Ambassador competition. This competition is funded in part by the Beef Checkoff and managed by the American National CattleWomen, Inc, contractor to the beef checkoff. 20 senior contestants ages 17 to 21, were judged in the areas of consumer promotion, education and outreach strategy, media interview technique and issues response at the event held in Denver.

Contestants from throughout the country vied for a place on this elite team of agriculture advocates and $5,000 in cash prizes sponsored exclusively by Farm Credit. Additionally five educational scholarships totaling $5,000 were given by the American National CattleWomen Foundation, Inc. and Monsanto. This year's contest also hosted a junior competition for youth beef industry advocates ages 12 to16. 10 passionate contestants vied for cash prizes, competing in three judged categories: consumer promotion, media interview technique and issues response. The first place winner was Phillip Saunders (Virginia). The second place winner was Bret Lee (Louisiana), and the third place winner was Abbey Schiefelbein (Minnesota). They all took home checks sponsored exclusively by Farm Credit for their top scores.

While preparing for this national beef promotion and education competition, youth across the nation learn about beef and the beef industry with support from state CattleWomen and Cattlemen's associations and state beef councils. The preparation highlights industry issues of current consumer interest. Winners of the state competitions compete at the national level where they receive additional training. After the event, the youth ambassadors speak to industry issues and misconceptions and educate their peers and mealtime decision makers about beef nutrition, cattle care, safety and more during consumer events, in the classroom and online.

During the weekend, Ohio's Sierra Jepsen of Fairfield County retired after spending a year as a member of 2014 National Beef Ambassador Team. Jepsen was the first contestant ever to represent Ohio. The Ohio Cattlewomen's Association are sponsors of the Ohio Beef Ambassador Program which is presently accepting applications for their 2015 team. Deadline to apply is October 20 and applications and information is available on the Ohio Cattlewomen's web site. Contact Ohio Beef Ambassador coordinator Kathy Sautter at 419.492.2576 for more details.

If you'd like to meet Ohio's representative on the 2015 National Beef Ambassador team, Demi Snider, listen to her interview during the 2014 Ohio State Fair with Brownfield's Dave Russell that's linked here: