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BEEF TAB -- Youth sought for summer beef ambassador competition

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Event will be held during beef tour

By Janet Kubat Willette

jkubat@agrinews.com

CALEDONIA, Minn. -- Youth ages 12 to 19 are being sought to compete in the beef ambassador competition this summer.

Candidates don't have to be from a farm, but they should have an interest in beef production and promotion, said Carol Abrahamzon of Caledonia, a member of the Minnesota CattleWomen. Abrahamzon is organizing this year's ambassador contest.

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There are two categories: Youth ages 12 to 15 compete to be junior ambassadors and youth ages 16 to 19 compete to be senior ambassadors.

Each candidate must write and deliver a speech on a beef-related topic before a panel of judges. The competition is set for July 9 at the Redwood Falls Community Center during the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Summer Tour.

Abrahamzon hopes competitors will deliver their speeches in the morning and that they will be recognized later in the day. She hopes this makes a connection between producer groups and the youth that are willing and eager to promote the beef industry.

This is the first year the competition will be held during the summer tour. In the past, the competition was held during the Minnesota Junior Purebred Heifer Classic at the Scott County fairgrounds in Jordan.

"The interest level has been poor," Abrahamzon said. "By trying something new it's not going to hurt."

When youth come of the classic, they come to show, she said, and want to focus on doing their best in the show ring. By moving the competition, youth will be able to focus solely on their speech and not worry about whether their cattle are too warm or need water back in the barn.

Moving the competition also gives the youth an audience, Abrahamzon said. They can interact with beef producers on the summer tour and be introduced as someone who could speak in schools or help with promotional events in their area.

Youth who compete to be senior ambassadors also have a chance to win up to $1,000 in prize money and an all-expense paid trip to Orlando, Fla., to compete in national competition in November.

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Junior ambassadors earn $100.

For more information about the ambassador contest, telephone Abrahamzon at (507)724-3905 or e-mail her at hoofnhair@hotmail.com. The application deadline is June 8.

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