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Student Leaders Meet at Youth Beef Industry Council

My sincerest apologies for the delayed delivery of yesterday's newsletter; due to technical difficulties, BEEF Daily was mailed out late afternoon. Now back to our regularly scheduled program!

daren-speaking-to-group.jpg Over the weekend, I spoke at the 2010 Youth Beef Industry Council in Minneapolis, MN. I worked with 120 young beef industry leaders on how to use social media to share the agriculture story, and I gave away beautiful Western art prints to volunteers sponsored by BEEF magazine. It was great to speak with kids my age about the issues we face in the agriculture industry today, and I was honored to be included on the weekend agenda alongside several talented, dynamic industry professionals.

One of those professionals was Daren Williams, program head of the Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) group that has more than 1,000 graduates in the alumni association. Williams offered up some words of advice for young people to get out and share the agriculture story with consumers. Read on to learn more about what he had to say.

“Nothing is more effective than sharing your personal story,” Williams told the group of young people. “Studies show that consumers still trust farmers and ranchers, and it’s your job to share what you do on a daily basis to care for animals and the environment on your operation. The HSUS has 11 million members, and they trained 2,100 activists last year alone. I’m concerned about the future of agriculture, but I’m also optimistic.

"Each of you has an influential power to affect the world. Whether it’s at the grocery store or at a church potluck, there are opportunities to share your story with others.

"Producers need to work on sharing positive messages with consumers through letters to the editor, email signatures and social networks. A message can be as simple as, ‘Caring for the land is our livelihood and our legacy to future generations.’ Who doesn’t want to leave the land better than it was received? I think that is the goal of all farmers and ranchers."

He quoted psychologist William James saying, “Your passion for a subject will save you,” and there is no doubt that today’s beef industry leaders have passion for production agriculture. Williams closed his presentation by giving the students a solid message to share with consumers, “We care and we’re capable.” That simple saying certainly rings true for today’s farmers and ranchers. For more information on the MBA program and how to get involved, contact Williams at It was definitely a great weekend working with the future leaders of the beef industry; I look forward to having them as friends and colleagues down the road!

BEEF Daily Quick Fact: Studies show that 72% of adult females and 37% of adult males are not getting the minimum number of servings from the meat group according to USDA guidelines for a healthy diet. (Source: Utah Beef Council)