The Idaho Beef Council (IBC) has just launched the third annual educational program called Cattle are Amazing which is developed for Idaho’s K-6 grade youth. The program includes lesson plans covering beef production and a related drawing contest. It is designed to be a fun and creative program that can be used to educate students about the importance of agriculture.
Nationally, beef production is the biggest sector of American agriculture. On average, the American farmer or rancher feeds 144 people here and internationally. In Idaho, beef cattle are raised in every county and within the past 10 years, cattle and calf receipts have topped all other agricultural commodities. Beef production is not only important to the national economy, it is also important to the Idaho economy.
“Today, only 2 percent of our population is involved in production agriculture,” explains Traci Bracco, executive director of IBC.
“Therefore, as students become more distanced from agriculture, it is imperative that they learn and understand the societal contributions of agriculture.”
Beef products affect everyday life through the many food products and byproducts derived from beef production. Because of beef’s importance to individuals, our state and the country, IBC felt it important to design and launch a multi-dimensional educational program to educate students who are not personally involved in production agriculture. Therefore, template lesson plans are provided to each educator. They are titled: Beef Basics, Beef Nutrition, All about Cattle, and Beef from Pasture to Plate. These lessons focus on Beef Nutrition as well as cover topics such as beef production and can be found online at http://www.idbeef.org/educators.aspx.
Part of the Cattle are Amazing educational program is a drawing contest.
The theme for the drawing contest is also “Cattle are Amazing.” Students are encouraged to draw why they think cattle are amazing. There will be three groups: Group #1 will be grades K- 1st , Group #2 will be 2nd -3rd , and Group #3 will be 4th-6th . There will be 1st and 2nd place prices for each group. First place gets a $250 gift certificate to Staples for the school/educator and a $100 gift certificate to Toys-R-Us for the student. Second place will be awarded a $100 gift certificate for classroom supplies for the school/educator and a $50 gift certificate to Toys-R-Us.
The grand prize will be a class pizza party awarded to the overall winner.
All entries are due to IBC by April 1, 2013. For more information about this education program or if you would like to implement it in your classroom, please contact the Idaho Beef Council at www. idbeef.org or phone 208/ 376-6004. — WLJ