Trailblazers Announces Inaugural Group of Beef Spokespeople

| February 2, 2022

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Feb. 2, 2022) – The new Trailblazers program, developed by the National CattlJemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, takes advocacy to an unprecedented level by giving participants the tools and training they need to promote beef to new audiences while addressing and correcting myths. After a competitive application process, ten Trailblazers from six states have been selected for the program’s first cohort of beef community spokespeople, including: 

  • Haley Ammann-Ekstrom, Minnesota
  • Kacy Atkinson, Wyoming
  • Jonathon Black, West Virginia
  • Brianna Buseman, Nebraska
  • Markie Hageman, California
  • Marya Haverkamp, Kansas
  • Natalie Jones, Nebraska
  • Shaye Koester, Nebraska
  • Sebastian Mejia Turcios, California
  • Jaclyn Wilson, Nebraska 

“We are excited to start this new program with such a strong group of experienced individuals,” said Chandler Mulvaney, director of grassroots advocacy & spokesperson development at NCBA. “Through extensive training, professional development, and equipping our Trailblazers with the tools needed, we are actively building a network of grassroots advocates across the country that will work together to find solutions to social and practical issues impacting the beef industry.” 

These new Trailblazers will receive training to become expert communicators, excel in media interviews and understand how to build confidence in beef related practices when talking to consumers. Throughout the year, Trailblazers will receive advanced training from subject matter experts, learning how to effectively engage on various social media platforms, interact with the media, and enhance public speaking skills. 


Trailblazers will meet twice a month, both online and in-person to foster constant growth and refinement of skillsets when speaking about beef. Upon acceptance and completion of the program, Trailblazers will serve as industry spokespeople and inform beef advocates at the local and state levels on advocacy, media and spokesperson best practices. Every year new Trailblazers will be accepted into the program. 

For more information on the Trailblazers program, contact Chandler Mulvaney at [email protected]  

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About the Beef Checkoff 

The Beef Checkoff was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The Checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national Checkoff program, subject to USDA approval. 

About Trailblazers 

The Checkoff-funded Trailblazers program was created in 2021 to support the efforts of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, in identifying, recruiting, empowering, and engaging with advocates in the beef community. The program will provide a train-the-trainer model to support state beef councils and partner organizations in mobilizing a cadre of spokespeople who are equipped to have tough conversations and seek solutions in telling the beef story.