Raynie Bentke was in the Livestock Ambassador class of 2014. She has been very active helping people in her community, and is an example of what this program is trying to achieve-training leaders who will take what they have learned and be leaders on the county, district, and state level. The rest is her story in her own words.
I started my journey as a Livestock Ambassador two years ago and it has become a very meaningful part of my life. The ambassador short course taught me not only every aspect of agriculture, but also how to address those that do not understand our way of life. This past summer I was given the opportunity to expand my knowledge of agriculture even more when I was accepted into the Livestock Ambassador Advocacy Program. The Advocacy Program informed me more about all the things the agriculture society is facing today, and that the youth was going to need to make the change.
Throughout these past two years as an ambassador there has been many times I was given the opportunity to inform someone about agriculture. I have not only been able to work with the youth of agriculture, but also those that are not associated with agriculture in any aspect. During my time in 4-H I have exhibited market steers, market goats, market swine, market broilers, market turkeys, and breeding heifers. Having experience with most species I was able to help almost everyone that has had any question about their animals. I have helped many youth of my county and other counties with showmanship of swine, cattle, and goats. I have also been able to help younger kids who are livestock judging. Having great success in livestock judging, I love sharing my knowledge with others. Before my county fair my county extension agent and I held a swine clinic to inform exhibitors about things to do the last couple weeks. My fellow ambassador, Kodi Schroeder, and I put on a cattle showmanship clinic before our county fair as well. To help some of our beginner showmen was touching, and to see one of them receive junior showmanship at our county fair was extremely heartwarming. I cannot wait to continue to watch her grow into a great showman in the years to come.
The toughest challenge the agriculture society faces is those that do not understand the background of their food, and all the work, time, and dedication to either their crops or animals that farmers and ranchers gave. The Livestock Ambassador Program gave me the passion to advocate in order to change this problem. With the help of the Livestock Ambassador Program not only have I changed others thoughts about agriculture, but I have educated exhibitors on the proper care of their animals along with the proper showmanship in the show ring. The ambassador program has also opened many doors for me in my life. I am glad I get to share my passion for agriculture with others, and hope to inspire them have the same passion.