The first week of February I had the opportunity to travel to Texas and attend the 2015 Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Trade Show as a member of the 2015 National Beef Ambassador Team. This was my first time attending this event, and I cannot wait to go back! It is so exciting to interact with over 8,100 attendees that share the same passion for the beef community.
One of the big highlights for me was the Cattlemen’s College. I was able to attend sessions that interested me and were along the lines of what I want to do. I am fascinated with international agriculture trade, so I attended workshops on beef exports. The biggest take away from this was that we truly are feeding a global consumer. Several items, such as the liver, tongue, and variety meats will most likely end up on the other side of the world thanks to international trade.
In one of the meetings we attended for the American National Cattlewomen, we had the opportunity to hear from Nina Teicholz, author of The Big Fat Surprise. I was really surprised to learn more about how the dietary guidelines for our country actually are created. The process is filled with biases. I thought it was very ironic that the rate of obesity increased so drastically after the first dietary guidelines were released for Americans. Fat plays a crucial role in a healthy diet, as many vitamins are fat soluble, meaning you need fat in your system to absorb them effectively.
We also had the opportunity to hear from Chef Erickson, the mind behind the upcoming documentary True Beef. Most consumers do not know where their food comes from, so this documentary will help close the gap from gate to plate. When Chef Erickson started this project at the high school he teaches at, ten of the eleven students had never even visited a farm before. To me that number is just staggering. There is a huge disconnect between producers and consumers that it is crucial to keep in mind that what is normal to you might be fascinating to a consumer. People want to know why we do the things we do to keep our animals healthy.
My favorite part of this event was the opportunity to interact with cattle producers from all over the United States and the world. The hard-working men and women that produce such a safe and wholesome product are what motivate me to promote beef.
Rachel Purdy, University of Wyoming Student and National Beef Ambassador team member, has been involved in agriculture since she was a child on her family’s operation in eastern Wyoming. Please follow the links below to follow the national team!
To keep up with what our team is doing, please visit: http://beefambassador.com/
Or like us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/beefambassador