David Warfield realized his grandchildren were not being fed beef dishes in school. The Bates County cattleman set out to change that. He talked to school officials, local producers, a processor and the Missouri Beef Industry Council to bring the MoBeef for MoKids program to the county.
Larry Burch is a fifth-generation cattle producer. He was the first to donate a cow to the Butler R-V School’s MoBeef for MoKids program. A lifelong resident of the community, Burch and his children attended the school. Now his grandchildren are there. “It is just a way to give back,” he said. “It is a way to support the beef industry and help kids learn to like beef. I see it as a way to sustain our industry for years to come.”
Travis Powell, owner of Powell Meats in Clinton, Mo., agreed to process the beef for Butler Schools. He worked with Opaa Food Management, which provides all school lunches to the small southwestern Missouri school, to meet their guidelines.
Much of the beef coming into the school will be ground beef, but there will be times for celebration that call for a good sirloin.
School administrators and board members, community leaders and beef producers had a taste of local beef at the kickoff of the MoBeef for MoKids event in Butler, Mo. They dined on grilled sirloin.
After only a month, the look of the school menu already has changed with more beef offerings. It is a testament to the entire agriculture community's efforts to improve food choices in the local education system.
Students at Butler R-V will learn about local farmers through posters as they wait in the school cafeteria lunch line. The posters tell about the beef producer and a few beef facts. “Education is key to this program,” says Mark Russell, Missouri Beef Industry Council executive director. “We want them to understand how beef is produced and its nutritional value.”