Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Being Yourself.... Online and In Person

I get asked to speak at a lot of events for young adults, and there are a few topics I love to touch on after my main topic has been discussed. 99.9% of the time, I am asked to educate audiences about Florida's Agriculture, and more specifically, Florida's Beef Industry. This upcoming Saturday, for our county's annual Farm City week prospect show, my speech will be about becoming an advocate. I always include information about our beef supply, but this will be awesome as I get to talk about my journey from my awkward teenage years to self-proclaimed "Beef Queen".

After my speeches are done, I like to include a little section about college, life in general, and your online presence. I wrote about the elevator speech exercise for my last blog. (For that stimulating story, click here.)

I hear it all the time in my major (public relations).....

"Be careful what you post online, employers will see that!"
"Don't post pictures of the parties you go too, that will get you kicked out of college!"
"Don't use profanity, or you'll go to jail!"

Some of the warnings can be a little intense, but the message rings true. I am friends with people on Facebook and twitter one minute, and the next minute I'm in their class talking about something agriculturally related. It's important to me that I stay professional and polite on my page, because people see that. I hate the thought of someone going to a classroom to speak and saying, "College is not about the parties, it's about homework and being an adult", and then a student "friending" them and seeing pictures that should NOT be posted for anyone to see. That's irresponsible and unacceptable. I'm not saying that people aren't allowed to post on their sites, it's yours to post. However, I DO think you should use discretion.

I like to stress the "Dad-friendly" rule. This got a LOT easier... when my dad joined facebook. It helps keep me in check. Often, I'll see these young girls saying things, and posting pictures, and I turn into that adult. "What are they thinking??"

Social media is great. It's improved lines of communication, it helps with keeping companies and even politicians accountable, if they so choose, and it's made a way for us to reach out and tell our stories. I believe firmly that every person has a story that is worth telling. I would just hate for that story to be one that reflects negatively on your character. I have said all of this to say the following... here are some simple rules for staying true to yourself, but being successful with your online presence.

- Keep social media as "Dad-friendly" as possible. How would you feel if your grandma knew all about your Saturday night?

- Post positive things that you are proud of. Earned a B in chemistry? That's awesome! Failed that test because your teacher "hates" you? Not necessary.

- PG Pictures. We all LOVE to see pictures of you and your boyfriend, but we don't need to feel like peeping toms. Keep them as PG as possible, please.

- Pretend that a future (or even current) employer WERE looking at your page. If you have a problem with your job or a co-worker, find a solution. Don't bad-mouth on the internet. That has gotten people fired before, I've seen it happen.

- Use your best judgement and be yourself. Don't try to put on a front by any means, but act as if your profile directly reflected your life.... because it does. How you portray yourself online is a direct reflection on how people actually see you, especially since most of the people you are "friends" with or "follow" aren't people who are lucky enough to spend time with you to know any better than what they see online.

Please feel free to share this information, and educate someone you know that has an issue with posting negative or harmful stuff online. It's a bigger deal than they think, and it will probably come back to hurt them in the long run. I'm not perfect, and neither is my online profile, but I'm proud of how I come across as a person in real life, and online.

Thanks for reading, have a blessed week!

The Beef Queen

Friday, October 12, 2012

Elevator Speeches - Don't take the stairs!

Most college students, especially those in any of the communications majors, have heard the term elevator speech. Most of us have heard it again. And again. And again......

If you haven't heard this term (regardless of your major or job) then it's something you should learn. Quickly. Elevator speeches have several names, but they are basically all formed around a simple principle. If you only have a small amount of time to speak to someone, and you need them to remember you, it's easy to get caught off guard and flustered.

Enter, the elevator. Speech. :)

Why do I need an elevator speech? I'm a bio-med major, or I already have a job!

Elevator speeches are great for a number of different occasions, each speech can be tailored to the event. This little blurb about you should include: Your name, something interesting about you that sets you apart (as it relates to the event/person), and something that you see as a goal or a challenge.

Examples: My name is Kelly Davis, I call myself "The Beef Queen" because I am an advocate of Florida's beef industry, and my dream job would be serving as Florida's first female Commissioner of Agriculture.

This is an example of an elevator speech for a job interview. There are different examples for different situations. You could have one ready for a job interview, meeting someone at work or at school that you admire, speed dating (even regular dating), etc.

These are great for people who find it hard to "brag" about themselves, which is one way that people describe talking about themselves. This little prepared speech comes in handy in a million different situations, especially when you hear the dreaded "Tell me about yourself".

I speak at a lot of 4-H clubs, FFA chapters, and other types of school and business meetings. This is always something I try to bring up, especially when there are younger people involved. It gives you an edge when you can answer something like this on the spot. Your confident, because you have something to say, and it will help people remember you.

At the last 4-H meeting I spoke at, I had each of the members write down some interesting things about themselves, and what they wanted to be when they get older. After I was done with my presentation, I had some of the students share some of their information as if they were just meeting me for the first time (which was effective, as many of them were!). This is a great way to encourage kids to get confident when speaking about something they love or are passionate about, whether it's drawing, sewing, speaking, cooking, showing cows, politics, or whatever it may be!

Hopefully you have a desire to go figure out your elevator speech, and I know you won't be caught off guard the next time you meet someone! Keep it simple, and keep it YOU. You're pretty great, and everyone deserves to know that!

Thanks for reading, have a great weekend!

The Beef Queen

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Vegans: How Lifetime and LMN Help Me Cope

My best friend Emily and I are huge LMN and Lifetime channel fans. Like, seriously. We can solve (or commit) any crime, and household dispute, and pretty much predict the future. Rarely, we are stumped. Usually though, we are pros.

I love the shows that run on these networks. My boyfriend calls the channels the "men-bashing networks", or MBN for short. He's got a great imagination. I just tell him to watch his back. Joking, of course.

I am a senior in college, and probably the only senior still living on campus. It works out, because I only need my apartment for a few months before I graduate, and the campus housing is more flexible (but more expensive) than off campus housing. You win some, you lose some.

After finding my randomly-assigned roommates on the housing website, we started a facebook chat about microwaves, toasters, furniture, sunflowers, and roommate night. One roommate suggested steak and potatoes (she sounds awesome) and the other responded that she is a very picky vegan.

I chose to attend a non-agricultural school for several reasons, including location (45 minutes from my hometown and my beautiful 2 and a half year old niece), and the fact that I would have more exposure and more experience with people who think differently than myself. If you read my blog, you know that I like to see things from all sides, and I like to educate myself so that I'm not speaking without first researching.

Here's where Lifetime comes in. The show Wife Swap was on last night. The wives "swapped" are supposed to come from completely different lifestyles. The episode featured a family who had a small income, and hunted to supplement and keep their family healthy. They shopped at a meat market, and ate venison (deer) and even rabbit twice a day if possible. They wanted to be healthy, but couldn't go out and afford expensive meat. They understood the value of meat in their diets. The other family ate raw food and lived a vegan lifestyle. The wife was very passionate against hunting and believed that she could obtain an almost food-like substance from "sun-gazing". Needless to say, I was captivated.

While I realize these are the extremes in most cases, it did give an interesting perspective. Please stay tuned for experiences with a vegan roommate. I pride myself on never shoving what I believe in anyone's face, and I believe that we all deserve a choice in what we put into our bodies, or choose not to consume. (Even if it sounds completely crazy to not want a delicious burger or some awesome taco salad - see Taco salad post from last summer!)

I think this will be a great learning experience for both of us. As my good friend Ashley H says, there are three desired outcomes when dealing with animal-rights activists (or just mis-informed consumers in genereal): Win/Win (both parties feel great about the outcome/conversation, Compromise (both leave having learned a little something) or even just the old "agree to disagree".

Thanks for reading this, and thanks for all of your support...... and prayers. I'm sure I'll need them!


God Bless,

The Beef Queen

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Youth Field days: The Importance of Agriculture Education

There are many benefits to a great research facility. There are the obvious reasons: we learn from what we have done right, what we are doing wrong, and learn how we can be even better. The center in Ona, an extension of the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences Cattle Range Station, is an awesome example of how a research facility should be run.

One of the benefits that many may not know about is that not only does this facility test, grow, plant, harvest and experiment on behalf of farmers and ranchers; they also give tours and help educate the youth in Florida and around the country. We all know that kids soak information up like sponges, and they want to learn. If more facilities team up and offer educational (and maybe even fun) tours, there will be great benefits to follow.

This past Thursday I attended the youth fall field day with many of my friends and some awesome representatives of our industries in agriculture. I had the opportunity to lead a group of kids and their parents around the well-planned tour, and I had a blast! I learned more about the operation than I expected, and I think a lot of people will agree.

We, as advocates, can talk all day long about agriculture till we are blue in the face. We know the benefits and the process like it's the back of our hands. We get it. I never understood why other people didn't. Seeing those kids and their parents learn these great facts and usable information really hit home. It helps to show them and give them something tangible. Instead of "the corn is planted in rows" or "cows are ruminant animals", we need to show diagrams and pictures. Explain what you mean, and why it's important. Cows are ruminant. 1 stomach, 4 compartments. Rumen, reticulum, omasum, and the abomasum. Did the facility just have the kids recite that? No... There was a real stomach for an example!

I'm not telling you to carry around a calf reproductive or digestive system in your car, or to cut a hole in your heifer to show how they eat in case anyone comes to your farm; let's leave that to the experts. I am saying that there are visual aids readily available! Get in touch with the beef council, your local cattlemen/cattlewomen, industry representative, ag teacher, farmer. Someone is bound to have something cool for you to share! We have great resources, we just have to find them!

I would like to say thank you to the staff at Ona and everyone who participated in making this event a success! Hope to see you all there again next year! Stay involved, and make sure you reach out to someone with a cool fact or information that might surprise them! When we continue to educate, we will in turn be asked more questions, which forces us to better educate ourselves. It's really a win-win situation!

Example: cows are ruminant, which means their system is set up so that they can actually digest fiber. Humans are mono gastric, which means fiber cleans us out! ;)

God bless,

The Beef Queen

Thursday, June 14, 2012

JFCA Youth Fall Field Day - Ona, 2012

It's been almost a year since the last field day, and I can't wait to go! I can't believe how much fun this last year has been. I definitely feel like I've grown since sweetheart... And I'm not talking about my height! :)

The Florida Cattleman's Annual convention, held in Marco Island, FL is in about 4 days! A year since I've given up my title,a year since what I thought was the end of my career. Now I realize it was just a crucial stepping stone! According to my business cards, and the fancy polo I'm wearing today, I have become an "industry advocate". This just means that I have decided to be a positive representation for the beef industry, and I could not be more excited!

Many people say that after sweetheart, you are a "has been". I say that you are only as good as you think you can be, so I simply refuse to be as has been. I believe that I owe this industry something, as it's given me so much!

That all being said, I'm looking forward to seeing all the kids and adults today getting educated about agriculture. It's what makes my heart skip a beat, but don't tell my boyfriend that! :)

Joining me today will be the current Manatee county Cattleman's sweetheart, my successor Maria. She will be representing the county in the annual contest this year at convention. I feel that she is prepared to represent us well, but as always I am excited for all the girls running. Whether they know it or not, this is a life-changing experience, if you want it to be. All I know is my life changed, and I thank God for the opportunities I've had.

I'll update about the field day later. Wish me luck, because this year I'm actually going to have a group to lead around. What a difference from last year, but as always, bring it on!

Thanks for reading this, and supporting all the youth and cattleman in this industry. Pray for those producing and representing, because Lord knows we need both sides. Pray the humidity and heat give those kids a break today as we are out in the heat enjoying this awesome event. Have an awesome rest of your week!

God bless,

The Beef Queen

Monday, April 23, 2012

Beef is Beef is Beef is Beef

Check out the photo below concerning the most recent attack on beef. There are so many rumors and misleading tidbits flying around about ground beef, and I have been working to do my part to dispel the myths. I always say that we have to educate ourselves before speaking. Don't speak without researching! Stay informed, and trust that beef raised and produced in the United States is healthy and nutritious! It goes through many rigorous tests and has to meet very strict standards, which are set by the FDA and the USDA. I have been speaking about #beefisbeef on twitter, and have commented on several articles and websites. We have to work together as producers to let people know beef is safe, and stay consistent in our message and with our facts. I would love to hear your thoughts, Lord knows my whole college campus has heard mine! Keep eating that beef, and stay healthy!
Check out www.beefisbeef.com for more information! 

Follow me on twitter: @the_beef_queen
Thanks for the support!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Local Beef: Worth the Hype?

My cousins raise beef at a local farm in Bradenton, Florida. Their cattle are a Maine Angus/Simmental cross, and they make delicious burgers! The beef is sold at the King Ranch in Bradenton, and it is raised right at the ranch. Every season, the ranch hosts a "farm stand", similar to a farmer's market and many local people come out to enjoy the goodies and live music.

I love helping them sell the beef because even though I didn't raise it, I feel proud that local farms are offering people yet another way to enjoy beef in their daily routine. I took a few pictures, but the day was fairly busy as we sold burgers from 11am till people stopped coming! The burgers were made from the beef sold inside the refrigerated room at the small building near the entrance. There were also plants and honey for sale, with a number of other local food options. Dakin Dairy, a dairy based out of Myakka city, sells milk there, as well as at the local Publix supermarkets, which we are super proud of as well.

I love burgers as much as the next person, and you can't beat a locally grown burger. They tend to be a little more expensive, as they take longer to raise and produce, but it sure is worth it. Local is a way to go!

A very happy customer,

The beef queen
My manicure. Had to go all out!

Posing for a pic while Gene does all the work cooking :)

The stand has a room with a fridge, where all the meat is kept, along with informational materials!

Monday, February 20, 2012

I won!

When I got home this weekend, after a busy and stressful week up at college, I was received with two amazing items: Girl Scout cookies, and a prize! What kind? Thin Mints, of course! Like there is any other kind.

Oh... you mean what kind of prize! :) While I was in Nashville for the NCBA, I walked around the trade show for a while by myself. It's always dangerous when I do that, because I like filling out random forms and talking to strangers. It is always easier to do this in a trade show setting alone, because most people like to keep moving and get free hats. (Yes, dad, I'm talking about you!)

Turns out, I won an awesome prize from the Beef Magazine booth! It is a book all about the history of the cowboy boot! I am just so excited! I made sure to tweet them to let them know I LOVED it! Even better, the card is stamped with BEEF in big red letters. Who doesn't love that? I am so excited to dig into my new book. It is called, what else, "The Cowboy Boot" and the credit goes to a lot of amazing people, such as David R. Stoecklein, the photographer. If you get a chance to read/look through this book, you need to take that opportunity. I would lend you mine, but I'm too busy lusting over these boots. :)


I'm off to volunteer for class, and I will be updating my blog about the Florida State Fair later! Thanks for reading, hope you have a great Monday!

God Bless,

One super excited Beef Queen!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Yahoo, You're "Useless".

For my advertising class, we have been assigned to keep a blog of things that inspire us. My other blog is titled: "There's only one Kelly Davis" with the tag line "Don't check Facebook, there's like 500 imposters". I use it for pictures and quotes, but this was one of my recent blogs. One thing that inspires me is how the beef industry is utilizing social media. An article by Yahoo about careers offended a lot of aggies, and I had to blog about it. I realized that I hadn't blogged about it on my beef blog, so here goes! Enjoy :)

Way to go, Yahoo.
An article came out recently from Yahoo about the top "useless college degrees." Click here for the link: http://education.yahoo.net/articles/most_useless_degrees.htm
This made many people angry, especially considering the above statistics. Within hours, all of my Facebook friends, and people around the country, were furious with Yahoo for approving something like this. Ridiculous. Blog posts that encourage agriculture as a career path followed, with great posts from groups like the National FFA Organization. They had a great response on their blog. http://nationalffa.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/ag-students-take-heart-your-degrees-arent-useless/
Hopefully, Yahoo will think twice before posting such an offensive article in the future. To say that such a huge part of our country is useless? Come on, Yahoo.

Pictures from Nashville!

At the NCBA convention trade show, there were beef-related items as far as the eye could see! I was in Heaven, and it was lovely. :)
Dad and I getting all dolled up for the Opry! We looked pretty spiffy! Mom looked really pretty, and I would have a picture of us on here, but it turns out dad didn't take a great one of us together. Jealousy, perhaps? :)
Standing in front of the CMT building!
Keith Urban in concert!!
Hanging out with Dan Sullivan and Amanda Radke of the MBA program. This was a special moment for me, because I felt like I was meeting celebrities!

I'll be posting more pictures as I receive them, still waiting on some group photos for our JFCA Team! :)

Florida, Sweet Florida

I'm back!

I have to say that Nashville was a great success. Sometimes, when I am at school or around people, and I'm talking about BEEF, I feel like I'm alone. This feeling leaves as soon as I jump online, of course, or if someone is with me and supporting the cause as well. I'm never ashamed, I just sometimes feel like I am the only one who cares. However, one of the best things about these conventions is that there are so many people who agree with what you are doing. Not only do they agree with you, they support you! Our conventions are like revivals. Once you leave, you are so pumped up and reminded why you do what you do!

The JFCA officer team ladies competed in the prepared speaking, and we also had a team for the quiz bowl and team marketing competitions. I am so proud of all of those who competed, and I know that the judges all had a really tough time making decisions. Our girls in prepared speaking all placed well, and we got 2nd in quiz bowl, while taking 1st in Team Marketing, for the third year in a row!

I loved Nashville, and it was a lot of fun getting to go around the downtown scene. My dad and I are both shocked that we didn't come home with record deals, but according to dad's Facebook update, "Leaving Nashville without a recording contract. This town wouldn't know talent if it kicked them in the face. LOL!" Well said, dad. We did get to take in a show at the Ryman (at the Opry, it's a previous location). It was actually a farewell for the building, as the stage floor was set to be replaced, and so it was a last performance. Keith Urban did an amazing job, but I have to say that I met some of the coolest people sitting beside and around us! I encouraged one gentlemen, a farmer from Kentucky who is a member of his Cattleman's Association, to become more involved! It was a fantastic evening.

It is hard to come home and sit through classes after networking and all that excitement, but I am trying to get through it! I am happy to be back in Florida, and I have realized that I really don't have a desire to live anywhere else. Even though our weather can be somewhat unpredictable, and the humidity can drive a frizzy-haired girl insane, it's where I want to live and raise my kids. It's where I want to farm and have pastures full of cow-calf pairs, and all that other stuff that comes along with it! Thanks for following, and have a safe and happy weekend!

The Beef Queen

There will be pictures to come, having some difficulty uploading.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The National Cattlemens Beef Association National Convention!

I was up super early this morning with mom and dad this morning so we could head up to the airport. That's right folks, we are headed to Nashville for the National Cattleman's Beef Association national convention!

"It's a crazy town full of neon dreams, everybody plays everybody sings. Hollywood with a touch of twang."
A big thanks to Jason Aldean for giving us a quote about Nashville! :)

This is my second time attending the NCBA national convention, and it's mom and dad's first. Excited for them to experience it! Coincidentally it is my first trip to Nashville, their second... but they way they talk they are practically locals. (Last year's convention was in Denver, CO.)

I'm so tired but so ready! We have a bunch of members coming up from Florida, and we have taken the youth championship titles for the past two years. Our kids thoroughly impressed me last year. Some of the other groups had egos, attitudes, and a lack of manners, which caught me off guard. We won everything in quiz bowl and team marketing, but we also displayed excellent showmanship. I credit our state and the counties, and the respective cattleman's associations with laying the groundwork for people to be even more awesome, and for everyone involved to be able to shine.

I'll be updating when we get home, and putting pictures up as I can. Have a great Wednesday, thanks for reading!

Your favorite Beef Queen!

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