A sophomore at the University of Wyoming is one of only five to be selected for the 2015 National Beef Ambassador Team.  

UW Ag Ambassador Rachel Purdy, an agricultural business student, says that growing up on her family’s farm near Bine Bluffs was what drove her passion for the beef and agricultural industries. She said it was those experiences that truly motivated her to become an advocate herself.

“I really do enjoy consumer events,” Purdy said. “I think it’s a really good way to reach consumers because there’s no such thing as a stupid question, and it’s a good way to educate them and have a good conversation about why we eat beef and how it gets to the consumer’s plate.”

Other team members on the 2015 National Beef Ambassador Team are Will Pohlman (Arkansas), Alicia Smith (Texas), Kalyn McKibben (Oklahoma) and Demi Snider (Ohio).

Purdy, a student in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, first competed in the junior level in 2011, where she not only made it to third place, but was inspired to make the national team for ages 17-21.

“That really opened my eyes – that it’s more than just a resume filler,” she explained. “These kids are really out there interacting with consumers and going to these events, so that’s when I kind of set the goal I wanted to be on that team. So from then, one thing sort of led to another, and here we are today.”

Purdy said she is excited to represent the culture she’s passionate about in major cities across the nation and hopes the ambassador experience will lead toward a career in agricultural policy.

“Producers don’t have the time to interact with consumers and tell our story,” she said. “So that’s why we’re here. I think that’s just a great thing to be able to go and serve the producers.”

The 2015 team was selected from 20 winners of state competitions from across the nation who traveled to Denver in September. The top five showed outstanding promise as agricultural advocates in four specific areas: consumer promotion, education and outreach strategy, media interview technique and issues response.