The upcoming BeefMeets events being held by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association are an opportunity for not only cattle producers to learn and interact, but also Iowa’s youth who are interested in the cattle industry. Youth are invited and encouraged to attend BeefMeets to participate in the Youth Beef Team training that will occur at each of these regional meetings. Registration and training is free.
The Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation Youth Beef Team is open to all youth, ages 12 to 18, who are interested in promoting the beef industry. Vital issues face the beef industry today. Every student encounters information in school and from the media on food safety, animal rights, the environment and nutrition. “Our goal is to equip young cattlemen and women with information they need to speak out positively for the beef industry, pointing out the advantages beef offers to our health, our environment and our economy,” says ICA President Mike Cline.
Training sessions offered for youth
After attending a training session, the Youth Beef Team members are equipped to conduct beef promotional activities in their own and surrounding communities. Activities can be done on an individual or group basis. After completing a promotional activity, the member fills out an activity report form and submits it to the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation office via email or by regular U.S. mail to the Iowa Cattle Industry headquarters in Ames. Each activity submitted accumulates points for a yearly award presented at the awards breakfast held at the Iowa State Fair.
Beef Team members have many opportunities to attend educational events, such as the Beef Bash, the Carcass Challenge event, Youth Beef Team tours at the state Capitol and the World Food Prize, and the Beef Scholarship Extravaganza. In addition to yearly awards, Beef Team members who are seniors in high school are eligible to compete for a $1,000 scholarship.
High school seniors have to submit an application, participate in a personal interview and give a presentation to beef industry professionals. Three scholarships will be awarded. The Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation sponsors the Beef Team scholarships.
New information and resources
New this year for BeefMeets, Youth Beef Team leaders have the opportunity to get new information and resources that will enable them to train new youth members. At this leader training session, a training manual and resources that leaders can use to train new YBT members will be available. This session will also offer an opportunity for leaders to network with each other and discuss the various activities they offer their groups. Lastly, ICA staff will discuss any ideas or suggestions to help make the program more successful.
This year’s BeefMeets include educational sessions, a trade show, district breakout sessions and opportunities for networking for attendees. BeefMeets start June 13 in Dubuque, June 15 in Ottumwa, June 20 in Creston and June 22 in Le Mars. Cost to register is $25 for ICA members but free to students. The daylong event begins with 8:30 a.m. registration and ends with a “beef social” at 4 p.m. Visit iacattlemen.org or call 515-296-2266 for more information and registration options.
Source: Iowa Cattlemen’s Association