BOISE -- The Idaho Beef Council (IBC) recently launched the fourth 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 two percent of our population is involved in production agriculture”, explained Traci Bracco, executive director of the 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 by-products derived from beef production. Because of beef’s importance to individuals, our state and the country, the 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 on-line at http://www.idbeef.org/educators.aspx.
Part of the Cattle are Amazing educational program is a drawing contest. Students are encouraged to draw why they think cattle are amazing. There will be three groups; grades K-1st , 2nd -3rd , and 4th-6th. First ($250 at Staples and a $100 educator award) and second place ($100 certificate; $50 educator) awards will be given in each group. New this year to the contest will be a People's Choice award, which the public can cast their vote for on the Idaho Beef Council Facebook page.
The grand prize will be a class pizza party awarded to the overall winner. All entries are due to the IBC by April 1. For information contact the IBC at www.idbeef.org or phone 376-6004.