Beef Buzz News
Young Oklahoma Cattleman Sets Sights on National Beef Ambassador Post
Thu, 13 Sep 2012 18:08:52 CDT
Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Levi Shelby about the National Beef Ambassador program.
Levi Shelby from Madill, Oklahoma, is hoping to spread his wings. The freshman at Redlands Community College won the Oklahoma Beef Ambassador competition earlier this summer, and he's hoping to be named a National Beef Ambassador at the end of this month. He will travel to Sacramento, California, for the national competition.
Shelby recently spoke with Ron Hays about the competition and what sparked his interest in it.
"Well, the beef industry is a very important aspect of my life. I've raised beef cattle all my life, so I wanted to be an advocate of the beef industry and promote our product to consumers so it helps our industry out. It's something that's very near and dear to my heart.
"The Beef Ambassador Contest helps prepare me for the real world. It's not just a contest. It really actually prepares me for everyday life being a beef producer."
Shelby said being a Beef Ambassador helps him get closer to consumers, to really talk with them about his product and the industry as a whole. He said it's a way to ensure the consumers are armed with the latest and best information out there on the wholesomeness of beef.
"There are many organizations out there trying to put down our product whenever we aren't doing anything other than trying to promote a healthy, natural product that we take care of ourselves in the correct way as humanely as possible when there are other industries out there saying we don't. It's important to have advocates for our industry."
National Beef Ambassadors are active in a number of venues including travel, public appearances and on social media. Shelby said he relishes the opportunity to promote beef on a national scale.
Shelby is a fifth-generation cattleman. His father is a large-animal veterinarian. Shelby said he would one day like to follow in his father's footsteps. He plans on enrolling at OSU upon completing two years at Redlands. He said he hopes to pursue a career in bovine reproductive physiology. He said, from his vantage point, the future for the beef industry is unlimited.
"I think there's a bright future in the beef industry right now. We continue to come out with even healthier products. There are 18 cuts of beef that are leaner than a skinless chicken thigh. So, if we continue to upgrade our product and keep it going, then there's definitely a bright, good future for the beef industry."
Oklahoma has had two National Beef Ambassadors in recent years. Shelby hopes to be the third Oklahoman in the last five years to earn that title.
Click here for more information on the National Beef Ambassodor program.
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