Beef Checkoff offers funding for South Dakota schools

Jan 30, 2009
by WLJ
Beef Checkoff offers funding for South Dakota schools

The Beef Checkoff in South Dakota is supporting a new program designed to develop beef consumers for life by teaching teens how to cook beef while providing education on beef’s nutritional benefits. The South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) is offering funding to schools across the state encouraging the use of beef in the classroom.

According to Holly Swee, SDBIC director of Nutrition and Consumer Information, people are losing the ability and the knowledge of how to cook many foods, including beef. This lack of cooking know-how, combined with tight funding in education, leaves many students entering adulthood without the skills needed to choose and prepare healthful meals. The new beef program for schools helps to bridge this gap by providing money to buy beef for handson lessons.

“We are doing our part to provide teachers with new educational materials and funding to go out and purchase beef and beef products so they can teach this valuable life skill in classrooms across South Dakota,” states

Swee. Teachers of Family and Consumer Science (FACS), formerly known as Home Economics, can apply for funding to purchase beef for their culinary classes. Beef funding is also available to schools with ProStart Culinary Programs in South Dakota. ProStart is a career- building curriculum for students interested in culinary arts and foodservice management.

Along with the money, each FACS and Pro- Start teacher will be encouraged to develop lesson plans on beef’s versatility, nutrition and convenience using current educational materials available from the Beef Checkoff Program.

Swee says middle and high school students involved with these programs can gain valuable beef cooking skills and information on beef’s nutritional benefits. “At this time in their life, teens are forming life-long beliefs about beef. South Dakota’s beef producers want to be sure those beliefs are based on factual information for a positive view of beef and the beef industry,” she adds. — WLJ