Marshall County girls top Beef Ambassador competition

Friday, March 14, 2014
Pictured at the 2013 Beef Ambassadors award presentation are, from left, are Janna Sullivan, Tennessee Beef Industry Council; Samantha Reese; Kendall Garrell; Claire Garrell; and Charles Hord, Tennessee Cattlemen's Association. All three Marshall County girls placed again this year, with Claire Garrell advancing to the national contest.

Special to the Tribune

Young people who are passionate about the beef industry have been named Tennessee Beef Ambassadors following competition at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Wilson County on March 8. The second annual contest for young people ages 13 to 20 was held in conjunction with the Tennessee Beef Agribition.

High individual in the Senior Division (ages 17-20) was Claire Garrell of Marshall County. Second place in the Senior Division was captured by Samantha Reese.

High individual in the competition's Junior Division (age 13-16) was Abigayle Pollock of Lincoln County. In second place in the Junior Division was Claire's sister Kendall Garrell.

The Beef Ambassador Program is sponsored by the Tennessee Beef Industry Council and the Tennessee Cattlemen's Association. Its purpose is to identify and train young people to become spokespersons for the beef industry. Students participating in the program will be better able to help educate consumers and youth about beef nutrition, food safety and stewardship practices of the industry.

Claire Garrell swept top honors in the Senior Division competition's three segments: Issues Response Essay, Consumer Promotions, and Media Interview. In the Junior Division, Abigayle Pollock was judged highest in the Media Interview category, while Kendall Garrell took the top spot in the Consumer Promotion category. Kendall and Abigayle tied for first in the Issues Response Essay category. Contest judges observed each contestant on their interaction of knowledge, articulation, poise, and overall ability to effectively educate the consumer.

As winner of the Senior Division, Claire Garrell will represent Tennessee at the National Beef Ambassador contest in Denver, Colo., Sept. 26-27, to determine who will become national ambassadors for 2015. Each year a team of five National Beef Ambassadors is selected during the national contest to travel the United States sharing the story of beef from pasture to plate with consumers and students.The individuals selected are required to attend a set number of appearances during the year and complete weekly social media activities. Last year's Tennessee Senior Division winner, Rachael Wolters of Culleoka, went on to be chosen as one of the five national ambassadors.

The Garrell sisters and Reese were in the winners' circle at the Beef Ambassador competition last year as well.

In 2013, it was held on July 9 in conjunction with the Tennessee Junior Beef Exposition in Murfreesboro. Claire Garrell took first place in the junior division, while second place went to Kendall Garrell, and 3rd to Samantha Reese.