Life’s Reflections: Children’s author does a lot for cattle industry

Amanda Ladke reads to the children who attended the Darke County Cattlemen's Association banquet. She wrote "Levi's Lost Calf,." her first agriculturally-correct children's book, in 2011. (Linda Moody photo)

GREENVILLE—I had the honor of attending Saturday night’s Darke County Cattlemen’s Association’s Annual Banquet, and what a dynamic speaker they selected!

Amanda Radke, who hails from a fifth-generation cattle ranching from Mitchell, S.D., not only spoke to the group but also read the first book she authored, “Levi’s Lost Calf,” to children in attendance before the actual banquet got underway.

She has authored a total of eight agriculturally-correct children’s books.

“I’m excited to be here,” she said. “I am enjoying my time in Ohio. Cattle ranching is the way to grow up. I always liked politics, and when I was 18, I did an internship with the USDA in Washington, D.C.”

Radke, who wrote her first children’s book in 2011, noted, “There are so many stories in agriculture to be told.”

And, she can do that and has done that in her books, with the help of an illustrator.

“The cattle industry is worth fighting for,” Ladke, a home-schooling mother of four children. “I’m teaching people to champion alongside us. Politicians need to hear our story.”

Dedicating her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers, she is a 2009 graduate of South Dakota State University with a degree in agricultural communications, education and leadership, In addition to the internship with USDA’s Ag Marketing Service in Washington, D.C., she served an internship with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in Denver. Her 2008 summer internship with BEEF magazine led to an ongoing blogger position for the BEEF Daily blog, where she provides timely industry news each week, Monday through Thursday.

According to one report, she’s the 2006 National FFA Extemporaneous Speaking champion and the 2006 National Beef Ambassador. In 2012, she was recognized as a Top 10 Beef Industry Leader by the Cattle Business Weekly. That same year, she was also featured on Media Industry News’ 2012 Top 15 People To Watch Under 30 list, for her work on the BEEF Daily blog.

When she’s not writing or ranching, Radke is traveling the country speaking to agricultural groups just like she was doing in Ohio this weekend.

She married her collegiate meats judging teammate, Tyler, in 2010.

Trust me, when I say she was a great speaker. And, that makes me proud to be an American.

She is someone who will fight to the finish for what she believes in, I’m sure. She had my attention and I’m sure most of the people in the audience would agree.

At the end of the banquet, Ladke was informed that the local Cattlemen’s Association Board’s goal is to donate all eight of her books to each of the local elementary school libraries in Darke County. They include Ansonia, Arcanum, Greenville, Mississinawa Valley, Versailles, Franklin Monroe, Bradford, and St. Mary’s Catholic School in Greenville.

How wonderful! Lucky children.

More to come on the banquet in the next few days.

Jamie and I extend our condolences to the families and friends of Bob Ehlers, Donald “Shorty” Keller, Harold Libert, Walter Summers, Ami McClurken, and Janice Kochersperger.
Please pray for these people: Albert Duncan, Michelle Grottle Wright, Cheryl Slonaker Gilmore, Donald Booker, Dennis Leeper, Connie Stachler, Carson Robbins, Randy Heck, Ronnie Norton, Marie Schlechty, Jeremy “Jerm” Burke, Bev Brumbaugh, Gary Eichler, David Pretzman, Clinton Randall, Abby Heck, Linda Lore, Ralph Byrd, Beverly McCabe Baker, Doug Winger, Rusty Maloy, Debbie Mayse, Sonja and Dan Coppess, Jeanie Francis, Noah Back, Mary Moran, Harvey Hinshaw, Bruce Kaiser, Angie Brown, Nikole Baldridge, Amanda Mote, Tom Moody, Gary Francis, Anthony and Theresa Grillot, Lee Everhart, Paul Gigandet, Doug Whittington, Tracy Pratt, Kinley Bernard, D’Arleen Waymire, Tish Hodson Shepherd, Zach Urbancic.
Also, Sharon Gamster, Rick Libert, John Rimmer, Joan Keen, Carol Hemmerich, Sharon Hummel, Dave Hinshaw, Larry P. Fitzwater, Jim Thomas, Neal Gray, Michael Mowery, Debbie Mayse, Kenny Edwards, Judie Hathaway, Della Burch, Ned and Brenda Wallace, Connie Buemi Hodson, Rick Marker, Randy Garrison, Steve Waymire, Warren Menchhofer, Kenton Turner, Gary Knick, Karen Hecht, Jannie Barrow, Kathy Gragorace, Danny Foster, Noella Combs, Clay Sheffer, Becky Everhart, Marie Rieman, Becky Oliver, Jayden Martin, Jeff Rider, Stefani Priest, Steve Neff, James Enicks, Joann Freeman, Cathy Collins Peters, Donna Bixler, Vanna Hannam, Linda Subler, Roger McEowen, Sally Burnett Ganger, Gloria Hodge, Jeff Baltes, Judy Hoffman and daughter Shelly, Cathy Melling, Scott Clark, and all of those who are suffering from other life-altering illnesses.
Happy birthday:
March 8 to Aaron Guthrie, Bradin Daniels, Nicole Williams, Lucinda Shaner, Janet Clemens,
March 9 to Lyle Cochran, Jan Riegle Turner, Richard Birt, Phyllis Oliver, Shari Hammontree, Chris Barnhardt, Julie Hall, Amanda Borchers and Kathy Gragorace.
March 10 to Jodi Norton, Kay Leis, Pat Spearman, Staci Schmidt, Amber Gelhaus, Karen Spraley Schafer, Wilma Flack and Patty Wisner.
March 11 to Karlee Deaton, John Coppess, Jason Hemmerich and Phil Crawford.
March 12 to Cheryl Leeper, Eric Bickel, Jerry Young, Missy Riethman, David Kruckeberg, Jeri Dispennette, Krystal Miller Stewart, Jason Hoening, Diane Leeper Jenkins, Kurt Troutwine and Kathy Dill.
March 13 to Margaret Hoening, Brian Saintignon, Brent Faller,
March 14 to Dixie Hemmerich, Stickelman, Madyson Buckingham, Hazel Meyers, Kathy Miller, Kenny Miller, Justin Petrosino, Sharon Siders, Stephanie Didier, Jesse Cline and Joyce Dotson.

Happy anniversary to Larry and Becky Garrison on March 11, Jay and Amber Biddlestone on March 12; Mike and Shari Hammontree on March 13 and Bill and Jane Gantt on March 14.
Think about it: “More people would learn from their mistakes if they didn’t spend so much time and energy denying that they made them.”–Author Unknown.