John Weber (Minnesota), Kim Rounds (California), Arika Snyder (Pennsylvania), Rossie Blinson (North Carolina), and Emily Jack (Texas) were chosen as the 2012 National Beef Ambassador Team at the annual competition, funded in part by the Beef Checkoff, held Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at the Shisler Conference Center and Hilton Garden Inn in Wooster, Ohio. Eighteen senior contestants, ages 17-20, were judged in the areas of consumer promotion, classroom presentation, media interview technique and issues response.

Contestants from throughout the country vied for a place on this elite team of agriculture advocates and $5,000 in cash prizes sponsored exclusively by Farm Credit. Additionally five educational scholarships totaling $5,000 were given by the American National CattleWomen Foundation, Inc. For the past several years, one Beef Ambassador has also been chosen for a prestigious USDA internship in Washington DC.

This year's contest also hosted a junior competition for youth beef industry advocates ages 12-16. Eleven passionate contestants vied for cash prizes, competing in two judged categories: Media Interview and Consumer Demonstration. The first place winner was Austin Gaspard (Louisiana), the second place winner was Abigail Grisedale (California), and the third place winner was Rachel Purdy (Wyoming). They all took home checks sponsored exclusively by Farm Credit for their top scores.

While preparing for this national beef promotion and education competition, youth across the nation learn about beef and the beef industry within their family and with support from state CattleWomen, Cattlemen's associations and state beef councils. The preparation highlights industry issues of current consumer interest. Winners of the state competitions compete at the national level receiving additional media training. After the event, as youth ambassadors, they speak to industry issues and misconceptions, while educating peers and others about food safety, nutrition and the Beef Checkoff Program at consumer events, in the classroom and online.

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