My name is Elanie Mason, and I am extremely excited and honored to be your 2021 Florida Cattlemen’s Sweetheart!
I am a fifth-generation Floridian and a Manatee County resident currently attending the University of Florida. I am a Junior pursuing a B.A. degree in Agricultural Education and Communication to achieve my goal of graduating with my undergraduate and then following my master’s degree.
I grew up showing cattle in my local county fair alongside my brother and sister in our local 4-H club and FFA chapters. These agriculturally based leadership organizations showed me how to get involved in the beef industry and inspired me to learn more and grow my small cow-calf operation.
In high school, I joined the Manatee Junior Cattlemen’s Association. I competed in team marketing and prepared public speaking at the annual FCA Convention. In 2017, I received the first-place award in the Prepared
Public Speaking contest, with a presentation about the life of cattlemen, showcasing what our Florida Cattlemen experience daily, behind-the-scenes insights, and their love of the industry, cattle, and their families and heritage.
Through these clubs, affiliations, and the relationships I have made, I have traveled to Capitol Hill and lobbied, advocating for bills pertinent to the agricultural industry and essential to those I love and respect. These opportunities have empowered me to understand and appreciate legislators along with how laws are put into place.
This year, my goal is to help honor and highlight the 500 years of Florida cattle ranching history we are celebrating and make sure we take the steps in the right direction to secure 500 more. I plan to use this platform to advocate for this industry we love and need and use my voice- along with Florida cattlemen- to lobby Capitol Hill.
We can start by asking ourselves and our loved ones to use their voice, social media, stories, and ability to share and honor the industry. If you do use social media, make sure to use the hashtag #Floridacattlehistory500.
Looking back on convention, it is safe to say that this year in Marco Island is one for the books. It was wonderful to see everyone, fellowship, share ideas, plans, and enjoy celebrating our industry.
I want to say a huge thank you to our outgoing FCA President, Mr. Gene Lollis, and our outgoing FCW President, Mrs. Casie Holloway, for serving our associations and members with passion and dedication. Congratulations to Mr. Cliff Coddington and Ms. Michelle Curts for taking on the important role of serving our respective associations and for continuing the tradition of leading our industry to the next year and beyond. And while you’re at it, in keeping with our new FCA President Cliff Coddington (also a Manatee County resident!) and his presidential campaign “Let’s Ride Together.”
I also want to thank the FCA staff and Executive board for planning a successful convention, everyone who purchased Sweetheart raffle tickets, and those who support our youth programs. Especially the Sweetheart committee, Kim Strickland, Lindsay Wiggins, Kaitlyn Gill, and Kayden Strickland, along with the judges, for making the Sweetheart program possible- your hard work is so appreciated, so noticed, and we can’t thank you enough!
To my fellow sweethearts, Anslie and Cady, I am so honored to stand beside you as we represent this great industry together. Thank you to Lisa Collins, Meadows Creek, John Williamson, Bruce Balentine, and Raquel Bothast for purchasing the FCA Sweetheart contestant’s wreaths.
I am so proud to represent this association – thank you for believing in me, and I can’t wait to see you all out and about! If you have an event or meeting I can attend, please make sure to contact me! Make sure to get out there, share your story, and be safe – now, let’s ride together!