The Beef Ambassador contest teaches youth about the importance of the beef industry and about beef as an agricultural product. The program highlights the positive impact the cattle industry has on our economy and families. Trained youth ambassadors address industry issues and misconceptions, while helping educate peers, consumers, and producers about food safety, nutrition, and the beef checkoff program.
Beef Ambassadors located across the nation go into classrooms, daycares, after school programs, and attend youth organization activities. During these visits, Beef Ambassadors share their personal experiences with beef and information about the beef industry, including industry messages on nutrition, animal welfare, environment, and other key topics.
The Beef Ambassador contest is conducted on a local, state, and national level. The contest has several components including a mock media interview, a mock consumer promotion event, a brief written response to a current issue in the beef industry, and a minimum of 5 social media posts related to the Beef industry on the California Beef Ambassadors Instagram page. The national level of competition also includes an education and outreach category.
Every year, junior and senior Beef Ambassadors are selected from each region (Northern, Central, and Southern Regions), making a total of 3 Junior and 3 Senior Beef Ambassadors across the state.
More information, including a complete set of rules, can be found on the California Cattlewomen's website.
Lea Thomas is currently serving as the AES Senior Beef Ambassador. Lea is a senior at Ponderosa High School and has been an active member of FFA for four years. This is Lea's first year raising cattle and she decided to jump right into it with a cow-calf & stocker ranching entrepreneurship! Lea's first bottle calf was a bull named "Cowboy" and she learned so much about raising and owning cattle from this experience. Lea quickly realized that she wanted to pursue this passion and show a steer at the El Dorado County Fair. She purchased her first steer, "Cattle-Lac" and began the grain and pasture feeding process. Not long after, Lea was presented with the opportunity to adopt two more babies: a heifer and a steer to become the start of her new herd!
Rachel Lyman is currently serving as the AES Junior Beef Ambassador. She is 15 years old and a sophomore at Amador High School, where she is an active member and committee chair for the Sutter Creek FFA chapter. Rachel is also a student-athlete, playing soccer and volleyball, and president of the Shenandoah Valley 4-H club in Plymouth. She has been showing beef at the Amador County Fair and at jackpot shows across the state for the past 5 years. Rachel has grown up in a family that owns a cow-calf operation and manages vineyards. Rachel hopes to attend Oklahoma State University majoring in Ag Education, aiming to become an Ag Teacher. Rachel says she wants to become an Ag teacher because she wants to teach the next generation how important Agriculture and the Beef Industry are and why we need them.