Colo. – Caitlin Williams, Tucson, Ariz., won the title of 2008 National Beef Ambassador at the annual competition, held Oct. 18-20 in New Orleans, La. The competition was established on behalf of cattle producers in 1988 and is funded by the beef checkoff.
Twenty-one contestants from throughout the country vied for the national title and $5,000 in cash prizes sponsored exclusively by Tyson Foods, Inc. Additionally, three educational scholarships totaling $2,250 were given by the American National CattleWomen Foundation, Inc. Williams received $2,500 cash and a $1,000 college scholarship. Second place went to Jennifer Rassler, Kempton, Pa., who received $1,200 and a $750 scholarship. Third place winner Leticia Varelas, Hope, N.M., received $800 and a $500 scholarship. Michelle Wiggley, Calif., and Beth Wood, Wy., received $250 each as honorable mention awards.
Williams, a sophomore at the University of Arizona, is pursuing a degree in Agriculture Education. Her favorite thing to do is to work toward her goals, step back and see the rewards of her hard work. She strives to do her best in anything she puts her efforts into and believes that dedication is the key to any success. She devotes her life and time to agriculture and the beef industry and feels that she can make a positive difference in the lives of many through education and promotion.
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 and consumers 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 “Telling the Beef Production Story.”