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Source: Chelsea Good, cgood@k-state.edu

Monday, April 6, 2009

K-STATE'S BEEF CATTLE INSTITUTE HOSTS BEEF ADVOCACY TRAINING

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's Beef Cattle Institute and the Kansas Beef Council have partnered to bring the National Cattlemen's Beef Association's Masters of Beef Advocacy program to K-State. The program provides agriculture students, professionals and producers the tools to better inform consumers about the beef they eat.

The goal of the Masters of Beef Advocacy program is to train people across the United States on ways to connect with consumers who are removed from agriculture. To graduate, students must complete six online courses and attend a hands-on media training session. Anyone interested in joining the free program can receive an application by contacting mba@beef.org. The program is continuous and students are accepted as they apply.

The program's first class in Kansas has 79 students which includes students from K-State's colleges of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, as well as beef producers and agricultural business people from across the state. Thirty-nine members of the Kansas class recently attended a graduation ceremony at K-State, where they completed their media training. The Kansas students are the first Masters of Advocacy program graduates in the nation.

Daren Williams, executive director of communications for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, conducted the media training session at K-State. Williams led the group through mock media interviews and taught them how to respond to online articles and blog posts.

"As a native Kansan, I am especially proud that Kansas State University hosted the first Masters of Beef Advocacy graduation," Williams said. "The beef advocacy training was a huge step forward for beef producers in reclaiming our legacy as genuine stewards of the environment and caretakers of animals."

Having K-State students taking part in the program is important, said Chelsea Good, a graduate assistant with the Beef Cattle Institute. "Students need to be involved in beef advocacy because they are the future of the industry," Good said. "The younger generation of beef advocates can share positive beef facts with their peers while these young consumers are still forming lifestyle habits. There is also a huge opportunity to reach young consumers online, which is a medium today's students grew up with."

More information about the Beef Checkoff-funded Masters of Beef Advocacy program is available at http://kansasmba.wordpress.com or http://www.MyBeefCheckoff.com

For information about the Kansas program at K-State, contact Good at cgood@-state.edu.