Minnesota youth stand out at national cattle convention
KIMBALL, Minn. — Minnesota youth placed high in competitions held at the recent 2012 Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen's Beef Association Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn.
More than 220 participated in NCBA youth public speaking, marketing and quiz bowl contests sponsored by Farm Credit.
In the public speaking contests, Shelby, Abbey and Bailee Schiefelbein of Kimball all placed in the top five of their age divisions. Bailee, age 9, placed second in the 10 and under division; Abbey, 12, placed second in the ages 11-14 division and Shelby, 15, placed fourth in the ages 15-19 division.
Bailee and Abbey each received a $300 check for earning second place.
They wrote speeches for the contest, which they practiced on their family's nearly 15-hour ride to Nashville.
Bailee had a speech that emphasized the need for beef in school lunch programs.
"The speech contest is exciting and I like learning how to improve my public speaking," she said.
Abbey's speech went through a day in the life of a pre-teen and noted all the places where beef and beef byproducts were involved.
Abbey wanted to participate to emulate her father, Don Schiefelbein, who is president of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association. She thought the contest was fun.
In her speech, Shelby said common sense needs to be brought back to government regulations, using Minnesota's wolf issue as an example.
"I like promoting beef even within the industry itself," Shelby said.
The hardest part was answering questions from judges, she said.
"You can practice your speech a lot but you never know what question you will get so you must know your subject," said Shelby.
A Minnesota team took third place in the youth quiz bowl. Team members included Minnesota Beef Ambassadors Erin Morrison and Kelly Morrison of Belle Plaine along with Spencer Pierson and Tyler Pierson of Watertown and Connor Bollum of Austin.
The team ranged in age from a high school freshman to a high school senior.
As the Minnesota Beef Ambassador senior winner, Erin has the chance to compete for a spot on the National Beef Ambassador team this fall. She said the quiz bowl was a chance to prepare for that contest.