Mitchell youth named South Dakota Beef Ambassador
PIERRE – Kelsey Repenning has been named South Dakota Beef Ambassador; and she says she can’t wait to get to work. I’m really excited to get out there and tell the story of beef, says Repenning. The South Dakota State University sophomore, majoring in Ag Communication, won the Beef Ambassador title at the statewide contest in Huron on July 25.
A Mitchell native, Repenning grew up on Blacktop Farms, her family’s purebred seedstock business, where she showed cattle in 4-H and FFA. The daughter of Steve and Lori Repenning, Kelsey says being a beef advocate has always been a passion. It doesn’t matter how young you are, you can always make a difference, says Repenning. I want to get the story of beef out there to everyone who needs to hear it.
In her role as South Dakota Beef Ambassador, Repenning will travel the state promoting beef. She will also represent the state at the National Beef Ambassador Contest in the fall of 2014.
The Beef Ambassador program is focused on providing youth with the resources and skills to be informed and effective spokespersons for beef and the beef industry says Holly Swee, the director of nutrition and consumer education for the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC), one of the primary sponsors of the Beef Ambassador program. These youth make a difference, says Swee. They will one day be the leaders of our industry, and the Beef Ambassador program helps prepare them to be today’s active voice regarding beef, not only amongst their peers, but to the general public, as well.
In addition to Repenning, who took first place in the senior division (ages 17-20), Leslie Zubke, daughter of Jack and Grace Zubke of Watertown, S.D., took first place in the junior division (ages 12-16), and Ella Stiefvater, daughter of Mike and Carie Stiefvater of Salem, S.D., took first place in the beginner division (ages 8-11). Contestants in the senior and junior divisions were judged on their performance in four different settings: a media interview, consumer presentation, youth presentation proposal/personal interview and a written response to a recently published news article regarding the beef industry.
As the senior division winner, Repenning receives an all-expense-paid trip to the 2014 National Beef Ambassador Contest and a $500 cash award. All contestants received prizes from the SDBIC as well as the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Auxiliary and South Dakota CattleWomen.
Emma Christensen, the 2013 South Dakota Beef Ambassador, will be representing the state at the National Beef Ambassador Contest this September in Arkansas.