South Dakota Selects New Beef Ambassadors

Posted: 7/26/2011

South Dakota Beef Industry Council News Release                                                               

For Immediate Release

For more information contact:

Holly Swee RD LN, director of nutrition

605-957-5283 *, or

Amanda Radke,


South Dakota Selects New Beef Ambassadors

HURON, S.D. (July 26, 2011) – Courtney Nolz and Chelsey Cahoon have been selected South Dakota Beef Ambassadors for 2011 and 2012 respectively. The two young women were chosen during the state-wide competition in Huron July 22. 

            Nolz, a sophomore at South Dakota State University and the daughter of David and Peggy Nolz of Mitchell, will represent the state at the National Beef Ambassador Contest in Wooster, Ohio, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2011. Cahoon, a senior at Beresford High School and the daughter of Barry and Vicky Cahoon, will head to the national contest in the fall of 2012. Both receive all-expense-paid trips to the national contests as well as cash prizes.

            As South Dakota Beef Ambassadors, both women will be promoting beef across the state during their terms. “The South Dakota Beef Ambassador Contest is an excellent program focused on educating our youth to be effective advocates for the beef industry,” explains Holly Swee, director of Nutrition and Consumer Information for the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC), the program’s primary sponsor. “We need young people who feel confident to share the positive message about beef and the beef industry, and our Beef Ambassadors do a great job.”

            “I’m truly excited to have this opportunity,” said Nolz, who is involved in her family’s cattle business and is active in Team ZIP (zinc/iron/protein), a group of runners that demonstrate the power of protein in lean beef. She says she intends to help educate consumers about the important role beef plays in USDA’s updated food guidelines represented by the MyPlate icon, and to also communicate the care beef producers take with their animals and the environment. “Young voices are important today in the industry,” says Nolz, “and I want to be the best advocate I can be.”

            Nolz and Cahoon were the two top winners in the senior division (ages17-20). The contest named two winners this year to provide, beginning in 2012, more time for the SD Beef Ambassador to prepare for the National Beef Ambassador Contest which is held each fall.

            Kaley Nolz, Courtney’s sister and a freshman at Mitchell High School, took first place in the junior division (ages 13-16). Kiera Leddy, daughter of Donnie and Krecia Leddy of Stockholm, was the junior division’s second place winner.

            Contestants were judged on their performance in four different settings: a personal interview, media interview, consumer promotion event and a written response to a recently published news article regarding the beef industry. Overall excellence in each of the four categories was also recognized, with Courtney Nolz winning the media interview, personal interview and written issue response categories and Kiera Leddy winning the consumer promotion category.

            Each contestant in the South Dakota Beef Ambassador Contest received cash awards from the SDBIC as well as cash and prizes from the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Auxiliary and South Dakota CattleWomen.


The SDBIC collects and administers the $1 Beef Checkoff on cattle sold in South Dakota.  Checkoff dollars are utilized strictly for promotion, education or research programs.  Fifty cents of every dollar is directed to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board for programs on the national level.  The SDBIC retains 50 cents, which is invested in additional national programs or in-state programs. 


The SDBIC is comprised of three representatives from eight agricultural organizations:  SD Beef Breeds Council, SD Cattlemen’s Association, SD Cattlemen’s Auxiliary, SD CattleWomen, SD Farm Bureau, SD Farmers Union, SD Livestock Auction Market Association and SD Stockgrowers Association.


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