Symposium exposes youth to career opportunities in the beef industry

High school students from Nebraska and Kentucky participated in the 14th annual Nebraska Youth Beef Leadership Symposium Nov. 17 - 19 at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

December 7, 2017

Lincoln, Neb. —  The 14th annual Nebraska Youth Beef Leadership Symposium was held Nov. 17 - 19 at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Animal Science Complex in Lincoln. High school students from Nebraska and Kentucky participated in this year’s event.  The symposium is designed to introduce youth to career opportunities and current issues in the beef industry, as well as offer education and practice leadership skills in a community setting.

Six $500 scholarships from the College of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources were presented, with the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources matching them with another $500. Scholarship recipients include: Malina Lindstrom, Elm Creek; Kelsay Schlichtman, Beatrice; Amanda Most, Ogallala; Jacy Hafer, Dunning; Wyatt Banks, Cynthiana, KY; and TaraLee Hudson, Belvidere. 

This year, the symposium started with a session geared toward freshman and sophomore high school students as well juniors who had never attended NYBLS in the past. They received an introduction to the beef industry from Galen Erickson, professor and beef feedlot extension specialist at Nebraska, and also got to ultrasound beef reproductive tracts and learn more about animal handling and welfare. This group of youth put their leadership skills to work by creating an infographic about the beef industry as well as hosting a Facebook Live interview with the NYBLS participants who were doing the culinary challenge. 

The symposium continued with the more traditional part of NYBLS, geared toward junior and senior high school students. This provided more in-depth information about the beef industry, meat science, marketing and gave participants the opportunity to work with a professional chef.  

“It was a privilege to meet the outstanding young people from across Nebraska and Kentucky who participated in the symposium,” said Alli Raymond, animal science admissions coordinator and NYBLS planning committee member.  “Nebraska is the beef state and we are pleased to partner with all our sponsors to participate in the development of the future leaders of the beef cattle industry.” 

The symposium featured hands-on production activities and leadership development. Junior and senior students were guided by assistant professor of animal science, Gary Sullivan and Chef John Kennedy to develop a new product using one of the following cuts of meat; ground beef, the heart clod, or the flat iron steak. Participants created a marketing plan for their product and presented it to two judges who got to try their product and ask them questions about their marketing plans.

According to Raymond, the symposium is a unique opportunity for young people interested in the beef industry. It gives them skills and experiences that are not available from any other university in the country. The Department of Animal Science is committed to helping develop the human capital needed to make Nebraska the epicenter of the beef industry. 

For more information, contact Alli Raymond at

Alli Raymond
Admissions Coordinator
Animal Science

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