Edmond FFA’s Gianna Nichols rose to the top of the prepared public speech world in Oklahoma FFA in Tulsa on Tuesday, as the High School Senior captured the State Speech Sweepstakes Championship at the 97th Annual Convention of the Oklahoma FFA.
Nichols won the Animal Science Division of the Prepared Speech Competition this past weekend in Stillwater- earning the right to be one of six state winners to deliver her speech again in front of a panel of judges. “Curbing Cattle Carbon” was the title of her winning speech, as Gianna defending the US cattle industry in the conversation over the industry’s role in greenhouse gas emissions.
Oklahoma Farm Report’s Ron Hays talked with Nichols after she was named the best Prepared Public Speaker in 2023 by the Oklahoma FFA- and she told him that when it comes to cattle burps and methane emissions “cattle are not the villain they’ve been made out to be” saying she started her speech talking about their methane emissions being considered incorrectly a super villain by many in the general public and that she considers that a real shame.
She acknowledges that while cattle are a significant source of carbon emissions- the advantages of using a ruminant animal to turn unusable plant materials into a high quality protein for human nutrition cannot be denied. Nichols pointed out in her speech that research that is underway to lessen the amount of methane being burped by cattle shows great promise and will help the industry in their efforts to reaching climate neutrality and net-zero warming in both the beef and dairy sectors.
Nichols says “that “I want to stay up to date on all of this- it really interests me as I want to go into a career as a livestock veterinarian and it’s something that will grow bigger day by day.”
Listen to Gianna Nichols as she shared her passion on this topic with Ron Hays by clicking on the Listen Bar at the top of this story.
Nichols will be working on this topic for at least the next six months as she prepares to represent Oklahoma at the National Prepared Public Speaking Contest in early November in Indianapolis at the 96th National FFA Convention.
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