West Des Moines, Iowa – May 1, 2024 – Beef nuggets, beef stew, brisket mac & cheese, beef wellington, and BBQ ribs were just a few of the delicious and nutritious beef recipes developed by Iowa students recently for the High Steaks! Beef Marketing Competition. Iowa students from across the state participated in the contest this spring in a bid to win judges over with their knowledge of beef products, beef production, and marketing savvy.  

The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF) hosts the annual High Steaks! Beef Marketing Competition in partnership with the Iowa Beef Industry Council. The experiential learning contest allows students to creatively develop a marketing strategy for a beef product of their choice, while learning about the variety of agricultural careers and skills it takes to develop and sell a product. Students in grades 3 through 12 were eligible to participate. Students learned about the beef production industry and beef nutrition as a result of participation.  

“Through this competition, Iowa’s educators have the chance to seamlessly integrate agriculture into their curriculum, into subjects they’re already teaching such as math, social studies, language arts, and science,” said Kelly Foss, Executive Director of the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation. 

Student winners announced 
A total of 60 entries were received from elementary, middle, and high schools across Iowa. IALF recognizes the following student winners in this cross-curricular program for elementary, middle, and high school students.  

  • Elementary Division winner: Des Moines Christian Elementary taught by Rhonda Osborn. The student team submitted a poster titled Ribs on Wheels and featured a tasty recipe of ribs with nutritional facts. Ribs on Wheels - DMC.pdf. 
  • Middle School Division winner: ACRE Homeschool Coop taught by Jenna Steffen. The student created a marketing plan to sell Tomahawk Twister and featured a seared tomahawk steak with garlic buttered potatoes and asparagus. Tomahawk Twister-ACRE Homeschool Coop.pdf

Submissions were judged by a panel of industry experts, beef producers, and educators. Prizes include up to $200 and first place classrooms will have a beef lunch. 

Competition Details

  • Elementary students who participated in the contest selected a beef product and then worked together in teams or as a classroom to submit a poster that advertises the product or showcases the health benefits associated with eating beef. 
  • Middle school and high school students who participated worked together to submit a marketing plan of their selected beef-focused product. Their marketing plans included an introduction, product details, marketing tactics, a market analysis, and nutrition information.  

“This is a fun way for teachers to engage students and learn about beef production in Iowa,” Foss added. 

The High Steaks! Beef Marketing Competition opens annually in January and concludes in April of the same year. Interested teachers can sign up for the IALF quarterly newsletter at www.iowaagliteracy.org or follow the organization on our social media channels to be notified of the next competition. The program is funded in part by the Iowa Beef Checkoff. 

About the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation
IALF serves as a central resource for educators and volunteers who want to teach Iowa’s students about agriculture. The mission is to educate Iowans, with a focus on youth, regarding the breadth and global significance of agriculture. Iowa is a leading producer of agricultural products that are essential to feed a growing world population, estimated to reach more than nine billion by 2050. IALF believes it is important for all Iowans to understand the essential role agriculture has in their lives. IALF supports existing agriculture education efforts such as FFA, 4-H and Ag in the Classroom. IALF was created through a joint effort of agricultural stakeholders, including the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Silos and Smokestacks Foundation, Corteva Agriscience, GROWMARK, and the Iowa Beef Industry Council. For more information visit IALF online at www.IowaAgLiteracy.org, on Facebook, and Twitter