Tammie Jean McElroy, Gridley, Calif., is one of the fiercely passionate cattlewomen across the country who has been involved in the checkoff-funded "Telling the Beef Story" program over the past few months. She and her husband run a cow/calf operation and he is a cattle trucker. She says the program gives her an opportunity to talk to different people and not "the choir" to share the story about what she does on her own farm along with science-based facts about modern beef production, especially when it comes to reaching youth advocates.
"Most recently we had it locally where I'm from in Butte County in California here," McElroy said. "We had our farm day for the kids in Chico and the surrounding areas in Butte County so we had 400 plus students go through and I had the opportunity to meet and visit with them and talk about animal welfare and chat with them a little bit about some of their concerns about the beef industry and about meat and nutrition and things like that."
McElroy also says her hometown audiences are a great place to start sharing her story.
"I've given a conference on some animal health issues for the state 4-H leadership conference that was held in Davis," McElroy said. "I spoke to various rotary groups and different groups like that on just our industry and what we're about so they have a better understanding."
McElroy's schedule is busy, just like other farmers and ranchers, but she says if you love it, you'll find time to share your story with others and get involved.
"You know, if you have the personal contacts it's easy to find the time. Sometimes the opportunity just falls. The main thing is just learning to be comfortable telling our story and then I think you find time to be able to go out there and do it," McElroy said. "And it's a commitment as far as the speaker's bureau, but it's something we need to do – we need to be telling our own stories. When you love it, it doesn't seem like a commitment it just seems like something that is natural. And you know my passion for the beef industry, I just love it so it comes easy."
For more about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.