I am a mother, I care about what my kids eat and I am proud that
my kids get Beef on their lunch plates.
My Fun Fact Friday is all about BEEF; beef in our school lunches. As a lot of you know, I was appointed to a board in the Nebraska Cattlemen to help get the word out about Beef in our Schools.
Today I thought I would answer some questions that I have been receiving.
How can you get Beef in your Schools?
The first step would be to contact your superintendent and ask him/her if they would be willing to present it to your school district board.
The second step would be to get your community involved. Ask for animals to be donated. Ask for donations for the processing.
The third step would be to check out your closest USDA inspected processing plant and see if they would process your donated animals.
The fourth step would be to talk to your head school cook.
“At Bridgeport Schools we are very proud of being in an agricultural based community and realize that without all of the agricultural property in our district, our school could not operate. One idea that has come up that would show this pride; is if we were able to serve beef that was raised locally and USDA approved.
One way we believe we can do this, is by having beef raised by local producers donate to be processed at KDK Meats. Many will say that area cattle producers already give enough to the school district through property tax. Which is very true, but we have had several area producers say they would be interested in donating a cow/fat steer if that meant locally raised beef would be served at Bridgeport Public Schools.”
“The program would work this way. If a beef raised by local producer was donated to be processed, the donor would have their name put in our monthly newsletter as the “Beef Provider of the Month” and this would also be on a sign in the cafeteria. Starting this fall our monthly newsletter will be bulk mailed and every mailbox in our district will receive one.”
“We realize timing can be very important in donating an animal so we would be very open to working with the producer’s production schedule. We believe we will need about 12 beef a year to make this work. The school will pay for the processing and will look for a grant that might help cover that fee. However, if you are thinking “I don’t raise cattle, but I would love to donate for the processing of an animal” then just let us know and we can make that happen. Also some have mentioned buying one at the fair and donating it.”
~Chuck Lambert, Bridgeport Superintendent
How do you make this program successful?
To make this program a success, as it has been in Morrill County, is to have community support that believes in our school system and our youth for tomorrow. Our community is the key to our success.
Contact the president of your local affiliate of the Nebraska Cattlemen.
Contact the president of your local fair board.
Contact your local newspaper.
Contact your local businesses.
Ask them all to help spread the word about Beef in your School.
Make sure that you advertise your producers, businesses, individuals that have donated. (School Newsletter, School website, giveaways at games, etc.)
FOR YOUR INFORMATION:
This program will not effect your free/reduced lunch program.
You don't have to go through procurement.
I would like to Thank all the local Beef producers for donating animals to our school lunch program. They include:
Phil and Joan Corman
Weborg Feedlot, Inc.
Justin and Becky Corman
Pohl Family Farms
3L Farming and Feeding - Peter G and Jim Lapaseotes
Steel Grill/Troy & Lisa Weborg
Mark, Ryan & Jaz Livingston
Trail Animal Clinic—Phillip & Kristen Kesterson
The Kraupie Family
Dale & Tammi Nichols
"My family and I have received a good education from Bridgeport Schools, we believe in the Ag program and the administration and the Beef program is a way to give back to our community." ~Dale & Tammi Nichols, Beef Provider of the Month
Total to date, Bridgeport Schools has had a total of 24 locally raised Beef donated; that is about 19,200 pounds of locally grown BEEF.
Why is this important?
Beef in our lunch programs is so important because our growing kids need a healthy lunch.
By serving Beef in our lunches, our kids receive:
Vitamins B6 & B12 - For their Brain Functions
Zinc - For their immune system.
Iron - Helps your body with oxygen use.
Choline - Helps their nervous system develop.
Protein - Helps build their muscles and keeps them preserved.