By Jimmy Hausauer
In our little old quiet mountain town of Etna, California lives a young celebrity who represents our community and the livelihoods of many of its citizens. Miss Emma Morris, a senior at Etna High School, recently competed at the National level in the Beef Ambassador competition and won a spot on the National team along with four other representatives from across the country. She will spend the 2013-2014 year traveling the United States along with her teammates and representing the Beef Industry in a variety of ways. We asked Emma some questions about her experience this past year:
Q. What made you want to participate in the competition?
A. I want to be an advocate for the agricultural community. It is my family’s way of life, and something that I feel very strongly about. The agricultural and beef industries have shaped me into the person I am today.
Q. What steps did you have to take to make it to the National level?
A. Well, I started at the county level, which was held in Yreka in April 2013. Before I went to the county competition, I studied up on the beef industry, and beef facts (nutrition, environment, care, etc.) I also completed my Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) certification online. I placed first at the contest, and advanced to the State level. In preparation for state, I researched current events in the beef industry and met with professionals in beef production. After winning the state competition, I had to do three classroom presentations, two consumer interaction events, and a media interview. I also kept up to date on information and news about the industry. Then, in September, I flew to Arkansas to compete nationally.
Q. Who helped you the most through this process and how did it affect you?
A. Definitely Mrs. Melanie Fowle. She has been my coach and mentor since day one, and is an absolute wealth of knowledge about the industry. I go to her with any questions and concerns.
Q. What events did you participate in at the National Level?
A. There are four parts to the competition: A mock consumer event, a mock media interview, an issues response essay, and an education and outreach portion.
Q. How did it feel to win?
A. I was extremely honored—also very surprised—to get this position. I’m so excited to spend this year traveling and advocating for industry that is very near and dear to my heart. My goal is to represent California and Siskiyou County in a positive and professional way, and I plan to do my best to accomplish that.
Q. What will your duties require you to do this coming year?
A. We will go to many events, including cooking shows, college campus promotions, trainings, feedlot tours, educational presentations and more. I believe they attended a total of fifteen last year. In a few weeks, I’m traveling to Wooster, Ohio for a Certified Angus Beef training day. We also write weekly blogs, which can be found at our blog site: www.beefambassador.com
Contributor Jimmy Hausauer is a senior at Etna High SchoolShare on Facebook