Beef Bruschetta with Roasted Garlic-Feta Spread

Nebraska’s Ninja Warrior Attributes Success to Family Cattle Farm

Adam Wegner- Nebraska Beef Council | July 14, 2022

Sports Illustrated subscribers will soon be introduced to Leigh Jahnke, a Nebraska native whose experience growing up on a farm and raising cattle near West Point propelled her to compete on the American Ninja Warrior television show. In the publication feature (which includes a digital article published in late August and a full-page advertorial in Sports Illustrated Kids July edition), she talks about how eating beef and working on the farm helped her compete at the highest level. 

“Growing up on my family’s farm literally taught me valuable skills that I have used throughout my life,” said Jahnke. “I learned the importance of hard work, perseverance, and the value of a good routine. Beef was a constant part of my diet that has helped me lead a healthy and active lifestyle.” 

Jahnke recently graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (where she was also crowned homecoming queen) with degrees in Spanish and Biology. She plans to further her education in medical school. 

The Beef Checkoff funded partnership with Sports Illustrated aims to tell the story of “farm-raised talent,” highlighting beef farmers and ranchers who have also had professional athletic careers. The partnership is part of a larger reputation management strategy implemented through NCBA, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, and is geared toward reaching Gen Z and Gen Alpha consumers with positive information about beef’s role in healthy, sustainable diets. 


The Nebraska Beef Council is a non-profit organization served by a nine-member board of directors. The volunteers oversee Nebraska’s beef checkoff and checkoff-funded programs. Programs for marketing and promotion are funded by the $1 beef checkoff.