October 20, 2017
Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri Beef Industry Council, Opaa Food Management and the Mount Vernon Public Schools joined forces to increase the amount of Missouri-raised beef in one southwest Missouri school district.
The MO Beef for MO Kids initiative is partnering cattle ranchers with their local school district to provide meat for school lunches. Throughout the 2017-18 school year, students at Mount Vernon Public Schools will see double the amount of lunch meals featuring beef. The increase in beef comes from cattle raised in Lawrence County, Mo.
"The Department of Agriculture has set out to feed Missourians more of the quality food that is grown here in our state," says Chris Chinn, director of agriculture. "Missouri cattle producers are doing their part to put beef on the plates of young students in their communities. This is an excellent opportunity to not only enhance the lunch menu, but also connect community members."
This week, students at various grade levels will learn about beef production and the health benefits of beef through educational opportunities brought to the school. That same week, school menus will reflect the increase in beef entrée options.
"Educating and feeding the next generation nutritious and healthy beef is important to farmers and ranchers," says Mark Russell, Missouri Beef Industry Council executive director. "Feeding Missouri beef to Missouri kids is exciting."
The increase in Missouri-raised beef helps meet the Missouri Department of Agriculture's goal to have more Missouri-grown food on the menus of schools, hospitals, correctional facilities and other such institutions across the state.
The Missouri Beef Industry Council is a producer-funded program whose mission is to promote beef and inform consumers about beef production. Missouri has the third-highest number of beef cows in the country, and Lawrence County is the largest cattle-producing county in the state. Opaa Food Management works with school districts across Missouri in planning nutrition programs.
Source: Missouri Department of Agriculture
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