“FACE TO FACE WITH OUR FUTURE” was the theme created by the South Dakota CattleWomen for the 2011 National Beef Ambassador Competition. In the coming year the 2011 National Beef Ambassador Team will come face to face with thousands of consumers and students across the nation. They will have the opportunity to educate consumers of all ages through the internet, consumer promotions and in classrooms. Get to know each of these enthusiastic Ag-vocates and follow them on their journey to share the beef story with America.
Kelli Fulkerson, Michigan
Hello and Greetings from the Great Lakes State of Michigan! I am Kelli Fulkerson and I am truly honored to be serving as a 2011 National Beef Ambassador. I grew up in the small rural town of Union City, MI where agriculture is something that runs deep our veins. Growing up raising and showing livestock at the local, state and national level has given me the opportunity to see and experience many things that I hope to share with all of you. Currently, I am attending South Dakota State University studying Agricultural Education with a minor in animal science. At South Dakota State I am involved in Block & Bridle, Collegiate FFA, Postsecondary Agriculture (PAS) and future Agricultural Educators. I am so excited to travel the United States this year to help Ag-vocate for the industry that sets a fire of passion deep within my soul. Thank you to my friends and family for always being there to help guide me into my place within this industry.
Jessica Sweet, California
Hi, I am Jessica Sweet and I am honored to be serving on the 2011 National Beef Ambassador Team. My interest in cattle and agriculture started at a young age on my family’s cattle ranch in the golden hills of Livermore, CA. I have been helping my family run the ranch for as long as I can remember and through ranching I was able to find the two things I am passionate about; beef and agriculture. This passion was honed through all my various activities which included showing livestock, public speaking and leadership positions and conferences in 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA). Through these organizations I was able to learn responsibility, dedication and most importantly the importance of agriculture. The knowledge of agriculture and beef has pushed me to do my part for the future, which means educating the public and the next generation of agriculturalist. While I am serving as an ambassador I will also be attending Modesto Junior College and earning a A.S. in Agriculture Science, and hope to transfer to CSU Chico and double major in Agriculture Education and Agriculture Business. I understand the need for educating the public especially, students. So I hope to become a high school agriculture teacher. This is one of the many reasons I looked forward to serving as a 2011 Beef Ambassador; which will give me the opportunity to interact with consumers and tell the beef story!
Austin Joyce, Texas
I am a freshman, Ag Business major at Texas A&M University from Pearland, Texas. I have been on the Pearland FFA show cattle show team where I showed at over 50 shows and it was this involvement that sparked my interest in beef cattle. This led me, my father, and a family friend to start their own cattle operation where we raise registered Red Brangus cattle, Angus cattle, and commercial cattle. As a beef ambassador, I hope to inform the public about the importance of American agriculture, in particular the beef industry and how American farmers and ranchers care for and produce the best animals and beef products in the world. Educating the public on the day to day effort that farmers and ranchers put into their operation in order to produce safe, healthy, and wholesome beef, will give people a greater appreciation for the food that they eat.
My name is Kristen Stufft, and I hail from the great state of Pennsylvania! John Maxwell once said, “A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” Graciously I have been awarded a position on the 2011 National Beef Ambassador team, but that position is most certainly backed by my passion for agriculture, and especially the beef industry. Coming from a small family farm, I was always active in my country 4-H by exhibiting market lambs, hogs, steers, and poultry, and by having various club office positions. From there, I joined the PA Junior Hereford Association where I currently sit on the Board of Directors and am the acting Secretary. I have also been volunteering my time every summer by assisting PA Farm Bureau with hosting the state’s AG in the Classroom seminar held at the Penn State University campus, and was one of the starting members of the newly established PA Cattlewomen.
Currently in my junior year at Penn State, I am majoring in Animal Sciences, and participate in Block and Bridle, Dairy Science Club, Poultry Science Club, livestock judging, meats judging, meat science quiz bowl team, weekly bible study, and is the Beef Promotions chairperson for Collegiate Cattlewomen. Having numerous accomplishments in Prepared and Extemporaneous speaking competitions, and multiple national Quiz Bowl titles, I very much enjoy learning absolutely everything I can about the industry I most passionate about, beef.
In my free time, I can be found marching with the prestigious Penn State University Marching Blue Band, or giving tours to potential College of Agricultural Science’s students as an Ag Advocate. But, no matter where I am, I tell all who will listen about the importance of beef as a part of the healthy diet, and the true production story. During my time as a National Beef Ambassador I hope to continue this as I reach out to as many people as possible from across the nation.
My name is Maddy Ruble. I'm 18 years old and I am a freshman at the University of South Dakota, where I am studying to be an Ag-Lawyer. My family is from Albert Lea, Minnesota where we raise Shorthorn cattle on the family farm. I and my two brothers are the 6th generation to raise cattle there, and we have about 15 head which we show around the state. It is a whole family activity and our passion and love.
I was the 2009 Minnesota Shorthorn Lassie Queen and Minnesota Beef Spokesperson. I have been showing cattle since I was eight; I have been in 4-H for 10 years and an FFA member for 4 years. I have represented the Beef Industry at the Minnesota State Fair, the Rochester Tri-State show, in elementary, high school, and college classrooms as well as at breakfasts and luncheons across the state.
As a member of the 2011 National Beef Ambassador team I hope to tell consumers my story so they understand what the Beef Industry is really like, I hope to educate families about the nutrition of Beef and why it is a healthy choice and I hope to show them the positive aspects of the Beef Industry. I am so excited to be a National Beef Ambassador because I love meeting new people, speaking in front of others and sharing my story.