Earlier this month, Black Hills State University graduate Chase Adams left the sprawling countryside of the Midwest for a new urban lifestyle in Washington, D.C. However, Adams did not abandon his agricultural background; instead, he is using it to advocate on a national level.
Adams, a 2005 BHSU graduate, was hired as the director of communications for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a members’ organization which promotes beef production. “We advocate from pasture to plate and everyone in between – the producer, the feed lot operator, the packer,’’ says Adam.
Growing up in cattle country, Adams said his passion for agriculture started at a young age. “I’ve always had a passion for agriculture and ranching,” he said. “I think I always wanted to be involved, not just from a producer’s standpoint but in the actual industry. That was always my goal and my education helped me get there.”
Adams graduated from BHSU with a bachelor’s degree in political science. “My college professors at BHSU including political science professors Dr. Ahrar Ahmad, Dr. Timothy Martinez and retired professor Dr. Tim Hills were all very influential at a formative period in deciding what I wanted to do,” he said. “These professors give students a national and world view of the opportunities available to them.”
As a student at BHSU, Adams worked as an intern for KBHB, a radio station in Sturgis which has been broadcasting to the farming community for decades. Adams continued his Chasin’ Ag radio broadcast while attending law school in Vermillion. After graduation, he came back to the Black Hills and set up a small law practice in Sturgis. Adams continued reporting on South Dakota’s agriculture industry until stepping down this month for his position in Washington, D.C.
Through his work as a farm broadcaster, Adams said he was able to work on agricultural issues not only in the High Plains region but across the nation. “I have had the chance to meet with and get to know such a wide array of ranchers, farm groups, agricultural leaders and Congressional members,” Adams said.
Adams credits his internship through BHSU as a key factor in being named to his new position with the NCBA. “The contacts the radio station allowed me to make, regionally and nationally, are the same contacts I use as the NCBA director of communications. That all started with the internship I had through BHSU.”
With the election only two weeks away, Adams said it is a crucial time for the NCBA and the agricultural industry. The farm bill, death tax, and environmental rules and regulations are all vital topics facing the farming and ranching community, and the nation as a whole.
“Not matter who is elected there is going to be an effect on agriculture,” Adams said. “I think it is more important now than ever to have NCBA leading the charge on these issues, and I look forward to ensuring those messages are communicated back to the ranching community.”
While at BHSU, Adams was active in the Rodeo Club, serving as president twice, and Student Senate. He is currently a member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters and was elected to represent the Western region on the board of directors. He also served on the board for the Days of‘76 Museum.