National Beef Ambassadors Visit Nation’s Capital
DENVER - Four of the beef industry’s top youth leaders recently received a rare opportunity to view the inner workings of the federal government and its impact on the beef industry. Thanks to a donation from an anonymous supporter, National Beef Ambassadors Amanda Nolz of South Dakota, Peter Sharpe of Minnesota, Josh McCubbins of Kentucky and Angelle Johnson of Louisiana were able to participate in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) 2006 Spring Conference on Capitol Hill. The conference was held in Washington, D.C., March 27-31.
A goal of the National Beef Ambassador Program (NBAP) is to provide leadership training for the youth beef ambassadors. The NCBA Spring Conference provides an excellent opportunity for the participants to put their training to practical use. Each of the beef ambassadors spent a day accompanying their state cattlemen’s delegation as they called on their state’s members of Congress. They also made visits to several federal regulatory agencies.
“Meeting with legislators and lobbying for issues pertaining to the beef industry showed me career opportunities I had never known before,” said Nolz. “This trip offered numerous opportunities and experiences that I will never forget.”
In another highlight of the conference, participants were addressed by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and other officials with the Department of Agriculture. Each of the ambassadors had the opportunity to speak with Secretary Johanns and learn about critical issues such as animal identification, international trade and BSE surveillance.
“Meeting the Secretary of Agriculture and attending these briefings allowed me to gain a better understanding of beef industry issues,” Johnson said. “I saw a greater need for political activism, and the role that each of us can play.”
The conference also gave the ambassadors an up-close perspective on future opportunities they may have to advance the beef industry. Said Sharpe, “I hope to attend this conference another time. I really feel it makes a great deal of difference for the beef industry.”
“Through this trip I obtained effective networking skills while lobbying for our industry,” added McCubbins. “I hope that many more of our country’s youth – especially future beef ambassadors – will have these same opportunities.”