Hydesville resident Jillian Casacca, selected in March as Humboldt County Beef Ambassador, was given the state title at the competition held April 26 at the Emma Prusch Farm Park in San Jose. She was chosen from 11 senior contestants, a record number of participants this year.
Casacca was selected as California Beef Ambassador after winning and/or tying for first place in the three segments of the competition: written issues response, consumer promotion, and media interview.
"We are very proud of her," said Sarah Mora, Humboldt County Beef Ambassador program coordinator. "She's a special girl and is going to go far in life," she added. Casacca will compete for the title of National Beef Ambassador in September in Denver.
Outgoing California Beef Ambassador Emma Morris said Casacca will "take my place as the face of California beef." Of this year's competition, Morris said, "The contest was so encouraging and seeing all the up-and-coming advocates made me very proud.
Casacca's mother Jaime Walling, who was in the audience as Jillian's name was announced said, "This is so exciting, and such a wonderful opportunity." The competition is sponsored by California CattleWomen and the Beef Council.
Casacca will be the third generation of her family to carry a CattleWomen title; her great-grandmother Evelyn Casacca was chosen as "Cowbelle of the Year" by the Humboldt County CattleWomen and mom Jamie Walling was Humboldt County Cattle Woman of the Year in 2005.
Jillian Casacca owns a small herd of registered and commercial Black Angus cattle, and hopes to expand the herd in the future.
She is currently combining her love of learning and agriculture while attending California State University Chico. She is majoring in agriculture business and minoring in animal science. She hopes to complete her degree by the fall of 2016 and after graduation, hopes to return home to Humboldt County and begin working in the agriculture business loan and appraisal sector.
Photo by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon
Humboldt County Beef Ambassador Jillian Casacca (right) was selected as the California Beef Ambassador at the state competition, sponsored by California CattleWomen (CCW). She is pictured with CCW President Tammie McElroy (middle) and Beef Ambassador runner-up Nicole Cowley from Siskiyou County.