Amanda Nolz, Mitchell, S.D., won the title of National Beef Ambassador for 2006 at the National Beef Ambassador Competition Nov. 3-5 in Austin, TX. The competition was established on behalf of the Cattlemenâ€™s Beef Board and state beef councils by the American National CattleWomen, Inc. The ANCW serves as one of the Beef Boardâ€™s contractors for checkoff-funded programs.
Twenty-four contestants from throughout the country vied for the national title and for $4,500 in cash prizes distributed among the top three places and three educational scholarships totaling $2,250 from the American National CattleWomen Foundation, Inc. Nolz received $2,500 cash and a $1,000 college scholarship. Second place went to Melissa Green, Arbuckle, Calif., who received $1,200 and a $750 scholarship. Third place winner Peter Scharpe, Arlington, Minn., received $800 and a $500 scholarship. Paul Moya, New Mexico and Amy Berry, Wyoming, received honorable-mention awards.
Nolz is a member of FFA, 4-H, Young Democrats and the South Dakota Junior Limousin Association. She enjoys public speaking, cattle, politics and reading. Her future plans are to attend South Dakota State University, studying mass communications and political science.
The National Beef Ambassador Program was conceived in 1988 by the American National CattleWomen, Inc. In 1990, the Cooperative Extension, National 4-H Program accredited the competition as a national event. In 1995, ANCW received beef checkoff funding from the Cattlemen's Beef Board to expand the program, which today involves youth ages 16-19.
While preparing for this national speaking competition, youth learn about the importance of the beef industry and 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 they help educate peers, consumers and producers about food safety, nutrition and the beef checkoff program.
Contestants participating in the National Beef Ambassador Competition presented a speech about the promotional aspects of beef, completed interviews with media and beef-industry representatives and attended a checkoff funded educational workshop titled "Spokespersonâ€™s Training." The workshop was presented by the National Cattlemenâ€™s Beef Association on behalf of the Cattlemenâ€™s Beef Board and state beef councils.
A major grant provided by Shared Solutions Agricultural Initiative of the Altria family of companies, allows national winners the opportunity to travel across the country promoting beef and the beef industry through education in both rural and urban settings on behalf of the American National CattleWomen, Inc., and the beef industry during the coming year.