I’m a 41-yr-old divorced mom of two kids, ages 12 and 13. I grew up in the small town of Bonifay, FL, active in 4-H and FFA and all that that entails. I am now settled in Lake Butler, FL where I serve as a school board member for the Union County School District. I’m currently a Lecturer in the Agricultural Education and Communication Department at the University of Florida, where I teach an agricultural issues course and an event planning course. Prior to my work at UF, I’ve taught high school English, been a veterinary pharmaceutical sales representative, served as a stay-at-home mom, and also partnered with friends and colleagues on freelance work in the agricultural communication field. I grew up skinny and found myself about 40 pounds overweight with the birth of my first child. I lost the weight completely through exercise and diet and found myself expecting my second child. I fortunately had a more active pregnancy and lost all that weight. However, I found myself going through a divorce a few years ago and because I’m an emotional eater, gained about 25 pounds back. It has been a back and forth journey on my weight. I’m back at 159, but would ideally be 135-140, so I’ve go about 20 pounds to lose again. I am a certified Zumba instructor and love kickboxing/boxing, and joining in the social fun of a good 5K race. I’ve never been nicknamed speedy, but I can move! I also donated my left kidney to a friend in need back in 2015, so that slowed me down a bit on my physical fitness routine. However, I’m fully recovered now and back at the fitness journey!
I want to represent Team Beef because I grew up showing cattle and other livestock. I get tired of all the activist attacks on animal agriculture, including the beef industry. After participating in multiple 5K events, I find that there is a wide variety of perceptions of food and diet and what that should look like for a healthy human body. There is no doubt in my mind that beef is a healthy and sustainable source of protein, and representing that at events where other athletes, mostly amateur that are getting their information from sources like Food Babe and Dr. Oz, can just ask me about my shirt. It’s a great way to find a shared value and still tell beef’s story!