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Donette Spann
Class of 2019

Name: Donette Spann

Hometown: Cabot, AR

Title/Position: Promotions Director, Arkansas Beef Council

Briefly describe your role: My role is to work on behalf of beef producers in Arkansas to educate consumers and promote beef as a delicious and nutritious protein.

Q: Is what you’re doing now what you always pictured you would do?
A: I didn’t think I would be promoting beef as a career, I was thinking more along the lines of animal pharmaceutical or feed sales when I graduated college. I knew I wanted to do something in the industry that I loved. But, when I started with the Arkansas Beef Council 18 years ago, I fell in love with the producers and knew I wanted to promote their beef.

Q: What do you see as the greatest challenges for women in your chosen industry? What are the greatest opportunities?
A: Agriculture in general has always been referred to or traditionally known as a man’s occupation. Physical strength may have been the greatest challenge when handling cattle, but with technology and equipment that has been introduced to the beef industry, it makes working with cattle so much easier to manage. As for beef, the greatest opportunities is that there are no longer any challenges. Women are owning and managing their own ranches, sale barns, processing facilities and, when it comes to the beef as a food, their own restaurants as chefs.

Q: Who has inspired you in your life/career?
A: I don’t know if I can name just one person who has inspired me. I admire so many people in the beef industry and agriculture as a whole. Cynthia Edwards has probably been one of the women who I’ve admired the most who devotes herself to agriculture and Arkansas.

Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring professional?
A: Work hard and never give up. Do well in college. You never know when you might want to further your education.

Q: What’s been your secret to success?
A: My secret is to go above and beyond what is expected. Always, always, always treat others as you would want to be treated.

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