Three Lessons Being a National Ambassador Taught Me

Throughout this past year serving as a National Ambassador, there have been many lessons learned and themes that we have focused on as a team within all of our exciting travels. As I begin to reflect on this passing experience, there are three main lessons that really stick out to me as having learned and grown through as an individual during the duration of representing Ohio as a National Beef Ambassador. Reflecting on these three components of the year, I realize that although in just two short weeks my title of National Beef Ambassador will no longer be, however I will carry the lessons learned, the friendships made, and the memories gained for a lifetime!

  1. Think Ahead– An effective leader is one who has the ability to continuously think and plan ahead. This proved to be beneficial most importantly when dealing with school and travels coinciding. It was important as a college student to let my professors know the prestige of being a National Beef Ambassador, as well as what this role entitled, but also think ahead to the assignments and tests I would be missing. I quickly learned that being able to address a situation before it occurred help to prevent stress, which also allowed me to enjoy my plane rides, trips, and still succeed at school.


    This past year taught me to step outside of my comfort zone, try new things, speak with new people, and most importantly make memories and live with a smile.

  2. Listen– I was unique to the National Beef Ambassador team this year as I was the only one of the five representing individuals east of the Mississippi. Roaming cattle, abundance of feedlots, and using horses to move herds were all new concepts to me within the beef industry. I learned that throughout these trips however, everyone had something different to learn and benefit from, but the best way to learn is to simply listen. Throughout the trips out west into Denver and San Antonio, I was able to tour ranches much larger in capacity compared to my farm at home, but I also was able to share my own experiences and knowledge with teammates and fellow beef industry representatives that expressed curiosity in how central Ohio raises beef cattle. Through listening I learned that after all, we are all in the beef industry working towards a common goal!


    Visiting JBS Packing Plant and Five Rivers Fedlot was an eye opening experience for me. It was evident by this trip that in all levels of the beef lifecycle the number one priority of farmers and ranchers is to produce a safe, wholesome, and nutritious product on four feet and on the table.

  3. Friendships matter– No matter the distance between home towns, a friend is someone whom you know will be there when you need them. You do not have to talk every day to be considered best friends. Approximately one year ago 20 nervous contestants met for the first time in Denver, Colorado in hopes of being allowed the honor and privilege to travel the United States promoting the beef industry. From the hours spent waiting in airports, late night conversations in hotel rooms, taxi rides around Nashville, and most importantly sharing our love of beef and the beef industry, I can now call my teammates my best friends!


    When five people are brought together under the same common interest of having a passion for educating and promoting others about beef and the beef industry, there is no telling the impact they will make!


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