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3 Beef Headlines: Miss America, PETA & Healthy Meat-Eaters

What’s happening in the world of beef on social media? Here are three items that had people buzzing online over the weekend.

1. “Farm Girl Vies For Miss America Title” by KayDee Gilkey for

I’m not sure how many BEEF readers follow the Miss America Pageant, but last night’s telecast included a walking poster girl for agriculture. Miss New Mexico Jessica Burson is a farm girl at heart. This isn’t the first pageant where a farm girl has been a top competitor, but it’s always exciting to hear agriculture being promoted in unlikely venues like this.

In a recent interview, Burson said, “Even though I’m new to pageants, I’m not new to being a role model. Through organizations like 4-H and FFA, I’ve become a young woman with strong morals and values that others can look up to. If you want an all-American girl who can talk to Congress, give a motivational speech, or maybe even bale hay — then I’m your Miss America. From praying for rain to beating the sun up to working with youth from across the nation; I’ve prepared for Miss America in a much different way.”


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According to Gilkey, “She is a fifth-generation farmer and their family farm includes sheep, hay and alfalfa. She was involved in both 4-H and FFA growing up, and is currently a 4-H leader. She attends Eastern New Mexico University with a double major in animal science and communications.”

2. “Farmers Told To Stop Fighting Animal Welfare Activists,” by Jeremy Story Carter for

Peter Sandman, a New York-based, risk communication consultant, recntly advised Australian farmers and ranchers to offer People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) an olive branch and work with the extreme animal rights group rather than vehemently oppose it.

Sandman said, “Think about working with PETA. Ask PETA to sit on your advisory board. If they say no, let it be on their head. People don't trust the idea that your industry is going to do the right thing on its own, because you're saints. We are looking for evidence that you have noticed that you can't get away with the things you used to get away with."

Without a doubt, consumers want to know that ranchers are doing the right thing when it comes to raising their livestock and producing food. However, it’s unlikely they are getting their information from PETA. That’s why I think it’s important to be involved in discussions on social media and responding with comments to online consumer articles. However, it's tough to see the benefit of trying to dialog with a group such as PETA, which opposes eating meat, but there is no doubt that industry members must be proactive in sharing our positive message.

3. “Study Proves Meat-Eaters Are Healthier Than Vegetarians” by Rick Wells for

This is good news for all beef lovers out there! It turns out that the steak you love is making you healthier, too! While this study is a few months old, the story was making the rounds again on social media. I thought it was worth sharing again to help it go viral online.

“A study conducted at the University of Graz, Austria, determined that vegetarians are less healthy and their quality of life is not as good as those who eat meat.” The study concluded that those who abstain from meat are “less healthy (in terms of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), have a lower quality of life, and also require more medical treatment.”

What do you think about this week’s headlines? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or the Penton Farm Progress Group.


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