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Angus Journal

Copyright © 2016
Angus Media.
All Rights Reserved

CattleWomen Go Collegiate

American National CattleWomen host Collegiate Cattlewomen at NCBA meeting.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Jan. 26, 2016) — Members of the 2016 National Beef Ambassador Program (NBAP) team and members of participating Collegiate Cattlewomen’s teams met Tuesday, Jan. 26, at the 2016 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in San Diego, Calif., as part of the American National CattleWomen’s (ANCW) meetings that preceded the conference.

The 2016 Beef Ambassadors included Kalyn McKibben of Oklahoma, Ashtyn Shrewsbury of Nebraska, Mackenzie Kimbro of Arizona, Kylee Sigmon of Arkansas, Lauren Schlothauer of New Mexico and Hannah Nave of Tennessee.

The agricultural backgrounds of the girls ranged from a seventh-generation cattle producer to showing dairy heifers. McKibben, the organization’s leader, said the passion of today’s young producers is evident.

“It’s encouraging to watch these girls grow,” she said. “They bring so many unique talents to the agriculture community.”

McKibben outlined the current NBAP program.

While there are advantages to the program, like having opportunities to meet and talk with urban consumers in cities like Orlando and Nashville, as well as meeting with industry leaders, she stressed there is room for improvement.

“As millennials, we look for opportunities to set ourselves apart,” McKibben said. “I know there’s a bigger opportunity for us to have more feet on the ground.”

She explained that the NBAP should include more of its members, because in the act of choosing five to participate in the program, the organization loses touch with many of its potential advocates.

“We pick five,” she said. “We need all we can get. It’s what the industry needs, and it’s what we want to provide.”

The agriculture industry is so dynamic and consumer-focused, McKibben said, the organization needs to remember to cover all its bases.

“We all have our own thing,” she said. “It’s about leveraging those passions. We want to make sure we’re equipping our young people with the opportunities and skills they can use to go talk to anyone about beef and agriculture.”

That includes the entire spectrum, she noted, including farmers and ranchers, corporate companies, consumers and private industry.

McKibben also pointed out the importance of networking to today’s young producers.

“If we don’t switch our focus to equip our young people, we’ll lose our relevance,” she said. “We have to invest in people and invest in our collegiates.”

How does she plan to do that? Provide opportunities for leadership roles.

McKibben and her team proposed a revamp to the program — the ANCW Collegiate Beef Advocacy Program (CBA). The program was created for beef industry advocates who aim to bridge the gap between farm and fork.

The program will aim to connect collegiate leaders to the beef industry, where they will have unlimited access to leadership, peers, cattle industry professionals, farmers and ranchers. Each state president will designate one collegiate candidate and working group chair to represent his or her state.

All candidates will become part of the 2017 team. A points systems was outlined to select the top five to serve in the traditional role of the NBAP team:

• Collegiate activities: 25 points
• Leadership: 25 points
• Social media and presentation: 20 points
• Two essays: 15 points
• A four-minute video: 10 points
• Other: 5 points.

The program is a step forward, but a work in progress, McKibben said.

“We look at this program, fully realizing that it’s not perfect. We know that we can do better,” she said. “We’re constantly going to improve this, but we need to start somewhere.”

For more information on the current NBAP and future CBA plans, visit, or contact McKibben at 417-529-8973 or by email.

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