The 2010 National Beef ambassador Team consisting of Ellen Hoffschneider, NE; Rebecca Vraspir, WY; Malorie, Bankhead, CA; Amanda Laurent, TX and Jackson Alexander, OK, recently had the opportunity to learn about the history of branded beef and how it relates to everyday consumers.


Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB) sponsored their “Building Blocks for Success” seminar for the new National Beef Ambassador Team, Jan. 5-6, 2010 at their office in Wooster, OH. President, John F. Stika, Ph.D. taught the students about CAB’s grassroots efforts and the obstacles and successes the brand has experienced, while Phil Bass, executive account manager, international, explained how science-based specifications were developed and enacted to produce the most successful Angus brand.


Jackson Alexander found CAB's role in selecting cattle for the program interesting. “The cattle selected are only the best and we were able to experience, "Angus Beef at it's Best!" The trainers and CAB employees educated us so much about industry issues, selection and grading processes, and marketing strategies facing their business. Not to mention they kept us well fed and made us feel right at home.”


A sales and trade marketing overview was presented by Tara Adams, assistant director of sales marketing. This included an overview of the brand’s marketing efforts, current and future advertising and public relations efforts, upcoming special projects and educational opportunities. Mark McCully, assistant vice president of production, followed up with a presentation titled, ‘View the big picture,’ on how production practices impact availability and product quality. Next, David O’Diam, brand extension manager, taught the Ambassadors about the certification process and the brand’s current production numbers.


Malorie Bankhead felt learning from professionals that exhibit great passion for the beef industry not only taught her about the Certified Angus Beef Brand, but it also taught her to hold tight to her passion for the beef industry. “I will always remember that the integrity of the beef industry is that which the members of the industry believe in and uphold wholeheartedly and that Certified Angus Beef makes for a positive, memorable experience within the beef industry."


Value-added products were showcased by Director Brett Erickson. Following a taste test by the students, Erickson explained why the convenience items are important, and how they are being used. He also discussed the direction of the industry and the rising demand for convenience items. Additionally, Amanda Barstow, director of brand assurance, spoke about the unique tracking process that allows CAB to monitor sales and purchases from certification to end user.


Rebecca Vraspir commented, “Everyone who works for Certified Angus Beef truly cares about the products and their co-workers. The CAB brand will continue to prosper because they have the people and the passion it takes to reach their goals."


This was a unique and valuable opportunity for the National Beef Ambassador Team to kick off their New Year and to become educated in the branded beef market in order to better communicate its benefits to consumers.


Amanda Laurent, “Certified Angus Beef is the epitome of a program that is committed to integrity and continues to strive for honor in the pursuit of excellence.


The National Beef Ambassador Program, managed by the American National CattleWomen, Inc. strives to provide an opportunity for youth to educate consumers and youth about beef nutrition, food safety and stewardship practices of the beef industry. National Beef Ambassadors to tell the beef production story to consumers and youth through promotion, education, media and the online environment.


Certified Angus Beef ® has offered internships to past National Beef Ambassadors and 2005 National Beef Ambassador Laura Nelson, Wy., currently works for Certified Angus Beef ® in their Wooster, Ohio office.