Family and Consumer Science, Agricultural Education, and ProStart Educators from across the state have been given the opportunity to incorporate beef programming efforts into their curriculum through the FACS beef program provided by the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) through funding from the beef checkoff.
Teachers from across the state apply into the program every August prior to the start of the new school year. The application program offers teachers the opportunity to purchase beef for cooking labs and nutrition education within the classroom. The program also allows Family and Consumer Science teachers to partner with their school’s Ag teacher in broadening the curriculum to incorporate and share a complete pasture to plate experience.
SDBIC Director of Nutrition, Holly Swee states, “We continue to receive very positive feedback from the teachers about the programs. They often comment on how they would not be able to afford beef cooking labs without these programs and how much the students enjoy the lessons and utilize them at home. These programs are designed to help enhance teacher’s classroom curriculum to include more beef cuts, preparation, cooking, and nutrition education while at the same time incorporating the beef story.”
Janet Jensen, a Family and Consumer Science teacher at South Middle School in the Rapid City Area School District is thankful for the South Dakota Beef Industry Council’s support. Jensen says, “Through the South Dakota Beef Industry Council’s FACS BEEF program funding, I can deliver information to my Family and Consumer Science students about beef, give experience in purchasing, planning, budgeting, food safety and preparation of beef recipes. Without this grant I could not provide the information, experience, or opportunities to my students.”
Swee says last years program was able to reach 46 schools from across the state and have a direct impact on approximately 6,300 middle and high school aged students. “We expect similar outcomes in this year’s program. The program offers students opportunity to engage in conversation and activities revolving around beef nutrition and culinary skills and that is an important element in building beef demand for our future generations.”