Nebraska producer will perform national anthem at NCBA convention

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association announced Carrie Behlke as the winner of the eighth annual national anthem contest, sponsored by Norbrook. Behlke will sing the anthem at the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, during the Opening General Session on Aug. 10, as well as at the Cowboy’s Night at the Opry event on Aug. 12.

Behlke grew up in Ohio where her family raised Charolais cattle, and she served as an Ohio FFA officer and was queen for the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association. After college, she worked for the American Shorthorn Association and later for The Show Circuit magazine. Today, Behlke, her husband and two daughters split their time between the family ranch in southwest Nebraska where they raise cattle and corn, and High River, Alberta, where her husband is a feedlot veterinarian. In addition to being a cattlewoman, she is a professional quilter and does freelance graphic design work.

Behlke was raised in a musical family and grew up performing in church. She began studying piano at the age of seven and started playing the guitar and singing in high school. As a college student her part-time job was teaching piano lessons, and she also played the trumpet in a jazz band.

“I’m looking forward to celebrating my Midwest roots and sharing my pride as an American by singing the National Anthem in August,” says Behlke. “My great love is classic country music, so I’m particularly excited to be singing in Nashville at the Opry, which is hallowed ground to me.”

As the winner of the contest, Behlke will receive round-trip airfare for two to Nashville, convention registration for two, a hotel room for four nights during convention, and western wear from Roper and Stetson. Online voting by the public determined the winner.