2024 Polk County Cattlemen’s Association

Sweetheart Selection Process

The Polk County Cattlemen’s Association Sweetheart represents the beef industry in Polk County and at the sweetheart contest at the convention in June. Young ladies that wish to be considered for the Polk County Cattlemen’s Sweetheart position must:

  • Meet the requirements of eligibility for Sweetheart of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association as stated in the 2024 FCA Sweetheart Application.
  • Be able to ride a horse and carry a flag at the Polk Trade Show & Ranch Rodeo.
  • Submit the following to Bridget Stice at bccarlis@ufl.edu or mail to PO Box 9005, Drawer HS03, Bartow, FL 33830 no later than January 26th (application must be received by January 26, not postmarked by):
         o The candidate’s contact information (Name, birthdate, address, phone, email address and parents’ names as registered with the Polk County Cattlemen’s Association)
         o  An essay explaining how she will promote the beef industry in Polk County (250 word minimum, 500 word maximum).
         o  A short video of the applicant riding a horse at a lope in a figure 8 formation while carrying a flag or a simulation of a flag (for example a broom with a sheet tied to it).
  • If more than one individual applies, there will be a selection process at the local level as follows:
         o Written test and interview – Monday, February 5, at 6pm, UF/IFAS Extension Polk County Offices – Conference Room, 1702 Hwy 17 South, Bartow.
         o Sweetheart Selection – Monday, February 12, at the PCCA Board Meeting, 7pm.
         o Trade Show & Ranch Rodeo – Saturday, February 17, the selected sweetheart will carry the flag (on horseback)

Should more than one individual apply to serve as the Polk Cattlemen’s Sweetheart, a contest will be conducted at the county level. Selection will be as follows:

  • A selection committee will be formed of individuals from within the beef industry but outside Polk County.
  • The sweetheart candidates will participate in an online test and an interview with the committee. In 2022, the test and interview will be virtual via Zoom on Wednesday, February 16, at 5pm. If potential candidates do not have Zoom online capability or have questions about this process, please reach out to Bridget Stice (863) 588-2697 or bccarlis@ufl.edu.
  • The committee will review the submitted essays, test results and interview performance to make a recommendation to the Polk Cattlemen’s Board, or subcommittee of board members, for the sweetheart.
  • Judging will be on the basis of the following criteria:
         o Knowledge of the Beef Industry
         o Communication Skills
         o Personality, Poise, and Appearance
         o Overall Impression
  • The Polk Cattlemen’s Board, or subcommittee of board members, will select the Polk Sweetheart. In 2022, selection will be made by the Polk Cattlemen’s BOD on Monday, February 10, at their regular board meeting.
  • The selected sweetheart will be asked to carry a flag at the ranch rodeo on Saturday, May 7, 2022.

Please refer to the “2022 Polk County Cattlemen’s Association Sweetheart Roles and Responsibilities” for further information.

If you have further questions, please contact Bridget Stice at (863) 588-2697 or bccarlis@ufl.edu.


Sweetheart Roles and Responsibilities

The Polk County Cattlemen’s Sweetheart serves as an Ambassador to the Polk County Cattlemen’s Association and the Beef Industry. She represents Polk County at the Florida Cattlemen’s Convention and participates in the FCA Sweetheart Contest. She represents the association and industry at local events throughout her term.

Term begins March 14, 2024 and ends March 14, 2025

The reigning Sweetheart must:

  • Meet all of the Rules of Eligibility for the Florida Cattlemen’s Association Sweetheart Contest
  • Provide a bio with photos (and occasional updates) for the Polk County Cattlemen’s Association website.
  • Attend the mandatory sweetheart meeting (April) and participate in the Florida Cattlemen’s Convention Sweetheart Contest (June).
  • Participate in the Polk Cattlemen’s Spring/Summer Dinner meeting (mid to late April).
  • Participate in the Polk Cattlemen’s Annual Dinner meeting (mid November).
  • Represent the association and the industry at the Legislative Appreciation Luncheon (early to mid December even years).
  • Carry the flag on horseback and represent the association and industry at the Polk Cattlemen’s Trade Show & Ranch Rodeo (mid February).
  • Assist with the beef (market and breeding) shows at the Polk County Youth Fair (late January).
  • Assist in promoting the Polk Cattlewomen’s toy drive (November).

The reigning sweetheart is expected to meet, at minimum, two of the following:

  • Represent the association and industry at the Bi-annual Ag Tour (even years October)
  • Serve as a volunteer and represent the county association at the State Finals Ranch Rodeo (early October).
  • Serve as a volunteer at Agri Fest (March or April)
  • Serve as a volunteer for Ag Literacy Day (April).
  • Participate in beef demonstrations at local stores.
  • Participate, serve, and/or represent at any other approved local event.
  • Participate in the Florida Cattlewomen’s Booth at the Southern Women’s Show.

The sweetheart is responsible for all of her expenses associated with her role. This includes, but is not limited to, the cost of her sash, hotel, convention registration, and meals for the FCA sweetheart contest. The Polk County Cattlemen’s Association typically provides a grant, amount as determined each year by the PCCA board, to help offset these expenses. The Polk County Cattlewomen, Inc. also typically provides a grant to offset expenses (to be confirmed and determined by the PCCW board).