Beef Ambassadors attend address by President Bush
DENVER - President Bush addressed the National Beef Ambassador Team while they were in Washington, D.C., for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Spring Legislative Conference. The president spoke to the ambassadors and cattlemen from across the country about his trade agenda, taxes and the importance of agriculture to the American economy.
“President Bush made several points throughout his speech that reassured me he is on our side as cattlemen,” said South Dakota National Beef Ambassador JoAnna Strom. “President Bush understands the importance of keeping farms in families for generations to come. This reassures me that he cares about future agriculturalists like me and millions of farm families across the United States.”
The National Beef Ambassador Program seeks to provide leadership training for the young beef ambassadors ages 17-20. The program was started and is managed by the American National CattleWomen, Inc.
Thanks to a generous grant from a private foundation, the ambassadors were able to experience first-hand a representative democratic system of government. Each of the beef ambassadors spent a day, along with their state cattlemen’s delegation, calling on their state’s members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. They also made various agency visits within the Department of Agriculture.
"Since I am interested in becoming an ag lobbyist,” California’s Amanda Rankin said, “I really enjoyed being able to speak with my elected representatives and see what an influence lobbyists can have in politics."
“Visiting with our elected officials on Capitol Hill was an excellent experience that allowed me to learn more about our legislative process and helped me become a more proactive spokesperson for the beef industry," said Matt Peebles of Florida.
“These young ambassadors left Washington, D.C., with a renewed interest in our nation and a stronger belief in the democratic system, which will benefit them as they rise to future leadership positions in the beef industry,” remarked Program Manager Carol Abrahamzon.
Chris Molinaro, of Pennsylvania, sums it up like this, “My visit to Washington D.C opened my eyes to an entirely new aspect of the beef industry. Politics has always been a confusing topic for me. However, seeing the incredibly essential role of politics in the beef industry has helped me understand how important it really is and why I need to become more aware of the laws that affect me as a cattle producer."