ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Maddie Fugate of Mahomet, Ill., was selected as the 2020 Angus Ambassador during the 2019 Angus Convention in Reno, Nev. Fugate will represent the nearly 25,000 Angus breeders as she travels around the country, advocates for the breed, and educates producers and consumers.
Fugate is currently attending Iowa State University after graduating with an associate’s degree in arts from Lake Land College in Mattoon, Illinois. A seventh-generation agriculturalist, she got her start feeding and caring for pigs and calves and exhibiting her livestock in the show ring.
“I’m really passionate about cattle and livestock and promoting that and being able to tell our story on an everyday basis is very important to me,” Fugate said. “The Angus Ambassador program gives me a platform to tell our story.”
Sponsored by the Angus Foundation, the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) Ambassador Program was created to provide educational opportunities for juniors who want to become a better advocate for not only the breed, but also for the livestock and agriculture industries as well. It is designed to recognize one outstanding junior Angus member who will support the Angus breed and the consumption of Angus beef on a national and international level.
“It’s essential for juniors to be involved with advocating on behalf of the Angus breed,” said Jaclyn Upperman, Association director of events and education. “Their passion and drive for the breed are inspirational, and the NJAA Angus Ambassador program gives the juniors an avenue to spread their passion.”
The applicants send in their cover letter and resume and answer two industry-based questions in the application process. The top two were then invited to the Angus Convention to compete in the second part of the contest. The contestants went through an interview with the same panel of judges and created a presentation about an Angus-related subject of their choice. Fugate’s topic was telling our whole story to consumers.
“I would like to make an impact on one person or change one person’s mind and be a vessel of information to especially consumers,” Fugate said. “We are so far removed from the farm anymore that they don’t really understand where their food comes from. If I can just provide a little of that information, I would be so happy.”
Kristina Scheurman of northeastern Ohio joined Fugate as a finalist in Reno. She is currently a freshman at The Ohio State University where she is studying to be a pharmacist.
For more information about the NJAA, Angus Ambassador program or Angus Foundation, visit www.angus.org.
— Rachel Robinson, Angus Communications
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