Becoming a Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador in 2013 ultimately was one of the most important and rewarding decisions I’ve made. Not only has it impacted the way I see things now, but also it has given me the tools I will need as I move forward into choosing a career.
The short course at Texas A&M was a very educational experience for me. I learned valuable knowledge of the Agriculture industry, how to communicate that knowledge effectively, and finally, how to defend how safe and practical our nation’s food supply is. The following summer, I attended the “Advocacy Academy” in Austin, Texas. Our group was able to meet and listen to some pretty outstanding and important State Representatives, Businessmen and women, and many more. We learned in more depth how people are fighting to keep the Agriculture Industry on track against all odds. This display of the power of government opened many eyes to how important it is to stay involved and current with issues regarding your community. We were very prepared for the third and final part of our training: the International Experience.
Getting to travel to another country is an experience unlike any other. To be able to see the changes in culture and
society is so humbling. Many do not realize how good we have it in the US. We have so many things going for us that people take for granted. I was able to expand my agricultural knowledge and soak in all the differences that Uruguay and Argentina presented us with. We were exposed to numerous opportunities to learn hands on through tours, discussions, and my favorite part, eating. Our amazing tour guides in both countries gave us ample information about the landscape and agriculture sector. We were always in a safe and welcoming environment that kept our best interest at heart. Our group was able to see both ends of the spectrum- research and production. It wasn’t all just business either; we were very well entertained. How many people can say that they rode a horse for the first time in Uruguay? It takes you getting out of your comfort zone for you to really learn and react. Being out of your comfort zone with a group of Ambassadors that feel the same way leads to lots of fun and lifelong friends.
Truly the best part about being an Ambassador is getting the opportunity to meet so many genuine people. The connections that I have made during my 3 years of service will stay with me while trying to build a career in agriculture. I will undoubtedly continue on my path advocating for this great program, and industry, for many years to come. Myself, as well as many others, can vouch for how rewarding this program have been. Personally, I’ve gained so much. I’ve increased my skills as a presenter and public speaker, put my foot in the door with many opportunities through connections, and solidified my decision to continue on in the field of Agriculture while majoring in Animal Science at Texas A&M University.
Being an Ambassador has truly been a fun and valuable experience. I hope many young people get to experience this great organization because I know that the future lies in our hands.