2022 Scholarship Winning Essays

Autumn Wilkinson
De Smet, SD

“How can you use your higher education to promote the beef industry?”

Growing up on a large cattle farm, I know how crucial it is to promote beef.  I have driven around South Dakota countless hours hanging up bull flyers for our annual bull sale, and attending cattle shows and conventions to advertise for our family ranch. 

As I move forward in my life and career, I know it is still important to continue to promote the beef industry to help preserve my family’s way of life.  I am attending college to become a physical therapist. 

After graduation, I hope to work with athletes who are recovering from injuries.  I think one tool I can use in my profession is the “Build Your Base with Beef” program that has already been successfully implemented in many athletic programs in the state through the South Dakota Beef Industry Council.  The program teaches athletes the importance of having high-quality protein as well as provide beef options on the go.  I think this is a great program to use with athletes recovering from injuries as well – teaching them the relevance of adopting proper nutrition and protein choices and to rebuild muscle with beef.  I plan on using my profession to help athletes – “Re-build Your Base with Beef.”

Blake Olson
Chancellor, SD

How can you use your higher education to help promote the beef industry?

 Already pursuing higher education at South Dakota State University has opened my eyes to the fact that a lot of people have little to no knowledge or correct knowledge about the beef industry.  Promoting the beef industry has never been a stronger priority and responsibility that beef producers and other people in the beef industry need to take responsibility for.  Words are often twisted to make the beef industry appear negative in public eyes.  However, there are ways to make the beef industry appear positive in public eyes.

 With my higher education there are several different ways that I can improve the beef industry in public eyes and promote it.  First, I can use social media platforms to post fun facts about beef cattle and up-to-date news on what is happening in the beef industry to promote directly to my sphere of influence.  In business classes I learned that marketing and promoting are large parts to the success of an industry/product.  Therefore, I will also promote the beef industry working with local schools and try to implement a beef day where kids can learn about the beef industry and not grow up with the wrong idea of what the beef industry is.  To reach the older audience, I would work with my local Beef Producers Association to put information in newspapers and on the radio.

Reaching my direct sphere of influence, educating the younger generation, and reaching the older generation is how I will promote the beef industry.