Serving Minnesota and Northern Iowa.

Little Falls' Colombe named to Ag Ambassador team

By Carol Stender
cstender@agrinews.com

Date Modified: 10/03/2013 4:35 PM

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LITTLE FALLS, Minn. — Sara Colombe of Little Falls has always worked hard to promote agriculture and the beef industry.

Colombe met the public through 4-H projects and demonstrations, as the 2009 Mississippi Valley Cattlemen's beef princess and as a Beef Advocate through the state cattlemen's and CattleWomen's organizations. She also participated in the National beef Speakers Bureau.

Now she has another opportunity as part of the 2013-2014 National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassador Team. Columbe is among 20 FFAers on the National FFA team.

Colombe grew up on the family's farm where they raised 30 beef cows. Today her family custom raises beef cattle and broiler chickens for Gold'n Plump. She is a fifth-generation beef producer and a member of the Minnesota CattleWomen's Association and the American National CattleWomen's Association.

Colombe taken an active role in the family operation. She checks cows during the summer when she's home form college and helps in the broiler barn.

Her father, Greg, is a full-time farmer and her mother, Diane, is a childcare provider.

Her mother encouraged her to speak up for agriculture.

"My mom was a strong believer of public speaking," Colombe said. "She saw it as a skill you need to do well as you progress."

She took part in Morrison County 4-H's public speaking contests and through 4-H demonstrations. She was involved with speech in middle school and high school and in FFA and Business Professionals of America.

"I did a lot of speeches on beef," she said. "One was on the TB-free zone and another was more business oriented on the beef community."

Through 4-H, Colombe took part in a Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council contest that involved telling others about soybean production and how the crop is used to make commonly used consumer products.

"That was one way to enhance my skills," she said. "I not only have been telling the beef story, but also for soybeans."

When Colombe considered a college major, agriculture education seemed the perfect choice.

"The main reason why I chose this field was to inspire future generations about all the opportunities they can have in agriculture," she said. "The FFA program provides these opportunities for students to become future leaders for American agriculture."

She continued her FFA involvement through the collegiate FFA program.

Collegiate FFA provides professional development opportunities to help students get an edge in today's job market, she said. The National Collegiate Agriculture Ambassador is one of its programs.

The 20 FFA Collegiate Agriculture Ambassadors are trained to give presentations and facilitate workshops for anyone interested in learning more about the industry.

Ag ambassadors serve one-year terms. Each team member receives a $1,000 scholarship.

Each team member filled out an application, completed an essay and submitted a video of themselves giving an ag presentation. The National FFA Organization conducted interviews before selecting the team in July.

Other Agriculture Ambassadors are James Barringer and Elise Stoddard, both of New Smyma Beach, Fla.; Ashton Dawson of Bentonville and L. Jade Halliburton of Crossett, Ark.; Jacob Dickey of Gibson City, Justice Plummer of Chicago and Nicole Seien of Velvidere, Ill.; Cara Fordyce of Kidder and Courtney Spencer of Aurora, Mo.; Beverly Hampton of Mount Ulla, N.C.; K. Janae Herr of Lancaster and Carolyn Lawrence of Chambersburg, Pa.; Katie Johnson of Milford, Iowa; Karoline Rose of Boseman, Mont.; Sam Tauchen of Bonduel, Wis.; Kiah Twisselman of Santa Margarita, Calif.; Alexis Wingerson of Smith Center, Kans.; Lauren Woloohojian of West Greenwich, R.I.; and Katherine Nye of Delta, Utah.

The group took part in specialized training in early August in Greensboro, N.C. Colombe and other ambassadors must complete a minimum of 30 hours of presentations.

Her interest in telling the ag story won't end once she completes her year.

"I want to continue to be that ag advocate," she said. "I want to advocate for ag through social media and to tell others about agriculture whenever I can."

For more information on her story and to have Colombe speak to your group, contact her at sara.colombe@jacks.sdstate.edu.