Serving Minnesota and Northern Iowa.

Five young women selected as beef ambassadors

By Janet Kubat Willette

Date Modified: 11/14/2013 8:08 AM

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ST. PAUL — A team of five young women will represent Minnesota's beef industry for the coming year.

The five ambassadors were chosen from a field of 15 at the Minnesota Beef Ambassador Competition held Oct. 17 at the CHS Miracle of Birth Center on the Minnesota State fairgrounds.

Minnesota's beef ambassador is Shelby Schiefelbein, 17, Kimball. Rounding out the senior ambassador team are second runner-up Maria Weber, 17, Lake Benton, and third runner-up Laura Stobb, 16, Milaca.

The junior beef ambassador is Sydney Zehnder, 15, Stanchfield. The junior runner-up is Abbey Schiefelbein, 14, Kimball.

Each team member will visit classrooms, help at consumer events and do at least one media interview or write a news article during their yearlong tenure. They will also have a facebook presence.

Shelby Schiefelbein served on last year's ambassador team; it was the first year competing for the other women. Three young men and 12 young women vied to represent the beef industry as ambassadors. It was the largest group of contestants ever for the ambassador program.

Judging for the ambassador program was held the first day of the Minnesota Beef Expo. The Schiefelbein sisters weren't showing at the expo; the other ambassadors all planned to show.

Each ambassador has a goal for their year. Shelby Schiefelbein hopes to share the story of beef with children in city classrooms. Zehnder hopes to spread truth about beef to consumers to counteract messages coming from activist groups.

Abbey Schiefelbein wants to stress the importance of beef to a healthy diet, especially among her athletic peers. Stobb plans to share how agriculture affects people's lives; everything they do touches agriculture.

Weber plans to continue informing fair-goers about beef. She is often asked questions by fair-goers and has been surprised by the lack of agricultural knowledge.

Contestants were judged in three areas: Consumer promotion, media interview and written issues response. The Minnesota CattleWomen organize and host the contest.