Meet Shelbie: Our New MCCA Sweetheart!

We are so excited to announce our 2021 – 2022 Manatee County Cattlemen’s Sweetheart – Shelbie Davis! Thank you to our outgoing MCCA Sweetheart (and current FCA Sweetheart!) Elanie Mason, for doing such an amazing job representing our county and our industry, we are excited to see what you’ll continue to do! 

Shelbie, we are so excited to get to know you a bit better as our reigning sweetheart, we know you have big plans and we wanted to share some information with our members who may not have had a chance to meet you yet! 

Shelbie, tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Shelbie Davis! I am the current Manatee County Sweetheart, and I am proud to say that my family is 8 generations deep in Manatee County. We own and operate 2 feed stores in Manatee County, and I grew up being very involved with farmers and ranchers in our community! I am a junior at the University of Florida pursuing a career in Agriculture Education and my passion is highlighting opportunities to expand our industry to and for those who are outside of agriculture, so they can fall in love with our people, our passion and our industry!

As the MCCA Sweetheart, what are your goals and how will you promote and educate consumers about our industry?

As the MCCA Sweetheart, I will promote beef and the industry by using social media platforms. There are a lot of ways that I can use social media as an education platform, such as fun fact Fridays, or recipe Wednesdays. Social media is a big part of today’s growing society so using it as an educational tool is a great way to promote beef. I will also attend as many public events that I can to advocate for the beef industry, as well as gaining knowledge for myself at these events. 

What are your strengths?

I would say that I am a very personable person. I am easy to talk to and I am always willing to learn more. Another strength I have is that because of my background I am able to talk to many different people regardless of the platform, educational, directing, or encouragement. One weakness I have is that I am not the most outgoing when it comes to being front and center, however, that is a work in progress! 

Tell us about your involvement in the cattle industry!

My involvement in the cattle industry is not light. I have shown homegrown calves since I was eight years old, and I still travel the state showing bred and owned cattle. I have been very involved in our family’s cow calf operation to the point where my papa gifted me a small herd of my own to start my own operation. In our operation I try to steadily provide kids top notch calves for the fair because I know that’s what I would have wanted.

In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges our industry faces?

Challenges that the beef industry faces the most are decisions made out of a lack of education. Board members of county and state offices make decisions or attempt to pass different items of business that they think are “beneficial” or “what needs to be done”, but in reality if those were to pass they would be detrimental. So what we can do now is do our best to educate any and every one so people would understand and have background before bringing items to the table.

What are you most excited for as the MCCA Sweetheart?

As MCCA Sweetheart I am most excited about using my platform to advocate for the beef industry towards people who were not brought up in agriculture. I plan to educate myself the best I can in order to educate others who know no different. I am also so excited to work with and meet other members of the beef industry, and develop ways to provide opportunity and education to those who were not born into the industry.

Shelbie, we are so excited to watch you inspire us all this year! Members, if you have not yet had a chance to meet Shelbie, we encourage you to “like” the Manatee County Cattlemen’s Association Sweetheart page (linked here!) on Facebook to follow along on her adventures! Interested in having Shelbie attend an event, speak to your class or organization? Make sure to send her an email at and help her get even more experience AND add exposure to and for our industry! 

Spring updates!

Hello everyone!

Happy last day of National Beef Month! I hope you have celebrated by eating beef and celebrating the industry. I have been so busy these last couple of months; I will fill you in the best I can.

I have been preparing and practicing for the Cattlemen’s Sweetheart Competition every single day. I have also been selling raffle tickets in support of the Florida Cattlemen’s Sweetheart Competition. I wanted to extend a thank you to everyone who has supported me and purchased raffle tickets.

The Manatee County Cattlemen and the Sarasota County Cattlemen held their annual combined meeting at Longino Ranch. Mr. Coddington and his team cooked a fantastic supper for everyone. We also had the privilege to hear from the Florida Cattlemen’s President, Mr. Gene Lolis, as he discussed some of the prevalent topics in the industry.

In April, the Florida Cattlemen’s Sweetheart Committee hosted the Sweetheart meeting via Zoom, where we met all of the contestants and asked any questions we had. I have also attended a few ranch tours with the Florida Cattlewomen, specifically Blackbeard Ranch. I also participated in the Women of the Year in Agriculture, honoring Mrs. Verinique. This was a fantastic event honoring her and all of the integral women in agriculture.

Furthermore, the Manatee County Cattlewomen had the opportunity to serve the Parrish Fire Department on Cinco De Mayo tacos in a lot of appreciation for their service to our community. This was a well-appreciated event, and I hope to continue this tradition in the coming years.

To conclude, I am packing to move to Gainesville for the summer, and I could not be more excited. I will be working remotely in the summer for Corteva Agriscience and serving as a College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) Ambassador. I will still practice every day for the Sweetheart contest in mid-June, and I hope to make you all proud. Be sure to follow the Florida Cattlemen’s Sweetheart Facebook page to watch the competition live.

A busy & productive start to 2021!

Busy would be an understatement, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. This month we the Manatee County hosted its 103rd fair. That means I was able to break out my shiny crown and leather sash for two whole weeks! First was the beef heifer show and showmanship. Now, I have met many livestock judges in my life, but hands down, Mr. Terry was the best judge I have ever met. Not only was he a very knowledgeable judge, but he was also absolutely amazing to our youth and was beyond encouraging to them every time they stepped foot into the ring. The beef week was by far my favorite (not because I’m the CATTLEmens sweetheart or anything… wink wink). It was filled with amazing exhibitors that you could visibly tell were passionate about the industry. That Saturday was the sale, and I can say that I was overwhelmed with pure joy and humbled by the amount of support that businesses have for our youth. There was not a steer that went for less than $4 a pound. How awesome is that?? The Manatee County Cattlewomen handed announced their Herdsman Award winners who will receive prize money, and the first-place winner received a custom belt buckle.

Next was the dairy show. Now, let me remind you, this was my first ever dairy show that I have watched. Yes, that isn’t very pleasant to admit, but it’s the truth. But I have to say, I LOVED IT. The heifers and cows were just so cute, and the exhibitors showing their cattle were just as dedicated and passionate as I expected.

In between the nights spent at the fair, I managed to fit in some homework and still work full time. Yes, it was tiring, but every second was worth it.

On the last Saturday of the fair, our very own, Mr. Cully, hosted his annual whip popping contest, and it was a huge success. Seeing kids of all ages pop their whips in front of a crowd for 45 seconds gave me hope for the future. Knowing that our country is still tied up enough with our roots, they are instilling valuable skills in their children that we can never let die.

Lastly was the swine sale. Let’s say, by the end of these two weeks, the cameraman, Mr. Ted, and I were very close. We cracked jokes and made sure that each kid’s picture looked the best. A huge thank you to Mr. Ted for being an excellent photographer. He was even gracious enough to snap a few headshots for me for the Florida Cattlemen’s Sweetheart in June.

Now, this is the place where I will get sappy. For me and many other families that have raised their kids in the fair, this was my family’s last one. My sister, Billie Michelle, is a senior this year. I think I was more upset that it was our last year as a family than she was. But I can say without a shadow of a doubt that these years have been nothing but full of memories, lessons, friendships, and life skills that I hope to instill in my own kids one day.

This was a very special and memorable fair for me. Not only was I able to represent a county that I love as the Sweetheart, but I was also able to share this special moment with my family as we completed our last project at the fair.

Sidenote: I am currently selling raffle tickets for one of two $250 beef gift cards. The tickets are $1 apiece, and all of the proceeds fund the Florida Cattlemen’s Sweetheart. Message me on one of the Manatee County Cattlemen’s Sweetheart pages to purchase. Speaking of sweethearts, We are now in the month of love! Still, looking for that special gift for someone? Purchase them a handful of raffle tickets and a chance to win a $250 beef gift card.

I love you all, thank you for reading my blog, and don’t forget to EAT BEEF!

Wishing you a happy & safe holiday!

Hi everyone! I hope ya’ll had a great Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year spending quality time with your family. I know that I had a refreshing time with my friends and family and I am so excited for the new year! Speaking of the new year, the fair is LESS than a month away! I can’t wait to see all of your smiling faces! If you get a chance, please check out my Instagram and Facebook accounts for more details of my adventures. I recently hosted an interview with our new Manatee County Fair Manager, Mr. Danny Alfonso, for insight on his duties and what the fair will look like this year. Stay tuned for more interesting interviews that will take place during the fair! See you soon and more importantly, eat beef!

Elanie Mason

To watch my interview with Danny Alfonso, click here:

Meet Elanie: the new MCCA Sweetheart

Hi everyone! My name is Elanie Mason and I am beyond blessed to serve as the 2020-2021 Manatee County Cattlemen’s Sweetheart this year. Ever since I was a little girl, I have DREAMED of wearing that pretty crown and sash! And now that dream has come true, I am currently writing yall in the barn at the fair as the Annual Farm City Week Prospect Show goes on. The same dirt that my chair sits in today, is where my roots were planted, right here in Manatee County, at the Manatee County Fair.

 To me, the best way a kid can grow up, is showing beef animals, especially at this fair. The memories and experiences I have had has given me a deeper appreciation for the industry and the rich history that was planted right here, in Manatee County!

Now I think it is safe to say that the world we live in today is drastically different from the world we were living in a year ago. This pandemic has been a trying time for many families. It has been a life changing experience to say the least. This time has given me the opportunity to really invest in my goals and ambitions and I hope it has done the same for you as well. I have found a hobby that I have turned into a small business. I design and hand make clay earrings to sell. In the month of October, I hosted a fund raiser for the Susan G Komen Foundation and designed a breast cancer style earring. I was able to donate over $200 to the foundation just by selling breast cancer incorporated earrings.

Even though making earrings is fun, my education comes first. I will be continuing my education at the University of Florida where I will be earning a degree in Agricultural Education and Communication with a focus on Communication and Leadership Development. I am working full time at Corteva Agriscience as a Lab Research Assistant and I love it. Some may say that I am busy, I like to say that I am maximizing my potential and giving back wherever I can.

 I am so excited to embark on this journey and represent a county that is near and dear to my heart. You can follow my journey on the Facebook @ManateeCountyCattlemensweetheart and on Instagram @manateecattlemensweetheart Be on the lookout for fresh beef incorporated recipes on these social media pages.

Elanie Mason