By Jessica Wesson

Careers are built around connections and experiences. For college students interested in building a better future through beef, Certified Angus Beef (CAB) created Youth Beef Leaders Seminar (YBLS).

Held Dec. 15-17, attendees see how the brand markets premium beef at the Certified Angus Beef Culinary Center in Wooster, Ohio. College students pursuing a cattle or food degree are encouraged to apply for the all-expense-paid travel awards.

“It’s a very unique networking opportunity to meet other passionate young beef leaders and get to know people from other backgrounds,” says Kara Lee, assistant director of producer engagement.

Students attending YBLS include the National Junior Angus Association Board of Directors, Miss American Angus, leaders from the Canadian Junior Angus Association and Colvin scholarship recipients. Attendees will test their beef knowledge as they learn how value is distributed across a carcass, consumer expectations and what makes CAB the best beef for consumers.

Students will gain an inside look at what it takes to operate a global beef brand, learning from industry experts who share perspective across the supply chain, from producers and packers to those selling and serving premium beef. Attendees will build their professional network beyond production agriculture by interacting with the brand’s meat scientists, chefs and beef cattle experts.

“Certified Angus Beef is incredibly diverse in terms of the type of skillsets and areas of expertise that we have on staff,” Lee says. “We have folks with backgrounds in advertising, food photography, culinary arts, event planning, communications, legal policy and more.”

YBLS topics include:
Global protein market insights
Consumer demands beyond the pasture
Carcass grading and fabrication
A deeper understanding of the brand and its benefits for registered Angus breeders

Lexi Hicks, a student at Mount Royal University in Canada and 2020 YBLS attendee, says the seminar gave her a greater understanding of the beef industry.

“What I learned gave me a greater respect for the product that all of us Angus breeders are putting on the table,” Hicks says. “I am more aware of the product and want to make sure people understand the quality of beef they are eating.”

For Hicks, the hands-on experience in the brand’s meat lab was the highlight of her trip.

“I’ve toured a lot of different facilities, and I’ve never had the opportunity to cut my own meat,” she says. “That was really fun and exciting.”

The information Hicks learned at YBLS has helped her prepare for a future career in ag law.

“As a policy student, my main interest is advocating,” Hicks says. “Everything I learned will help me promote the beef cattle industry and explain production to consumers.”

Hicks encourages students to apply for YBLS.

“The experiences, the memories and the connections you are going to make will last a lifetime,” Hicks says. “An opportunity like this to come and learn hands-on can’t be beat.”

Applications are due by November 10, 2021, and can be submitted at https://certifiedangusbeef.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=134.

Selected applicants will be contacted by phone by Thanksgiving. For questions, contact Kara Lee at Klee@certifiedangusbeef.com.