Outreach is one of the many things we do as members of ANCW. We hope to educate as many people we can about the benefits of beef as part of a healthy diet, but we also strive to provide meaningful interactions with the consumer about the “agriculture way of life.” This week’s BEEFMoos is brought to you by Region IV Director Debbie Gill. She writes about the Texas A&M University collegiate cattlewomen and their efforts to provide outreach, teach students about agriculture and the beef industry, and even have a little fun at the same time. Read on…The Texas Aggie CattleWomen (TACW) were recently invited to participate in an event hosted by the 100 Ranchers organization. At this event, high school students were brought to a ranch to learn about the many careers available in agriculture and primarily our Beef Industry. This particular day, close to 100 students from the Aldine Independent School District were invited to Rhonda Ranch to participate. Rhonda Ranch (located outside of New Waverly, Texas) is owned and operated by Fred and Rhonda Newhouse. We were told that the ranch is named after Rhonda because Fred knows she is the real boss!
There were representatives from Capital Farm Credit, Texas Forestry Service, National Resources Conservation Services, Farm Service Agency and Texas Dairymen Association, each of which had an interactive presentation. Students were divided into groups that rotated between booths.
Michaela Tennyson (TACW) and I were able to go and use a set of flash cards provided by the Texas Beef Council that contained six segments of the Beef Industry, Purebred Cattle Rancher, Commercial Cattle Rancher, Feed Lot, Packer, Retailer, and International Sales. The set also included cards for careers found in those segments. The educational and interactive flashcard activity helped the students see that careers in agriculture and our industry could fit into multiple segments: Marketing, Sous Chef, Wait Staff, Meat Cutter, Feed Sales, Pharmaceutical Rep, International Trade Laws, cowboy and many more… It was very entertaining and refreshing to hear all of their questions and have the opportunity to help them consider different career opportunities.After a wonderful barbecue lunch, door prizes were awarded in the most original way I have ever seen. As numbered tickets were drawn, students would spin the wheel selecting an industry then were asked a question provided by the appropriate representative. Each student was given one ticket during registration and booths had extra tickets to give to students based on participation levels, so most students had multiple chances. Students and industry representatives really had fun with this! It was wonderful seeing students from different sometimes even rival schools cheering and encouraging each other. Some really nice door prizes were awarded.
Hats off to Kimberly Ratcliff and the 100 Ranchers organization for such a great event! These young people undoubtedly left the Rhonda Ranch with a new outlook on agriculture, farm life and potential careers in agriculture. We can’t wait to see what they do next!