Iowa Classroom Winners Selected in 2023 High Steaks! Beef Marketing Competition
West Des Moines, Iowa – Crispy beef coconut pancakes, beef stew, Wagu beef burger, and deep dish beef sliders 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. As a new component this year, classrooms were invited to several virtual events to learn about beef. Through these video chats, students learned about different areas of cattle such as breeds and genetics as well as cow/calf and feedlot operations.
“This competition provides an opportunity for Iowa’s teachers to bring agriculture into their classrooms, incorporating it into subjects they’re already teaching about like math, social studies, language arts, and science,” said Kelly Foss, executive director of the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation.
Student winners announced
A total of 50 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.
- 1st Prize: Des Moines Christian Elementary taught by Rhonda Osborn. The student team submitted a poster titled ‘Beefila’ and featured Wagu beef burgers.
- 2nd Prize: Des Moines Christian Elementary taught by Rhonda Osborn. The student team submitted a poster titled ‘It’s a Beefy Good Day” and featured beef steak and eggs.
- 3rd Prize: Des Moines Christian Elementary taught by Rhonda Osborn. The student team submitted a poster titled ‘Beef Buffet’ and featured beef steak.
Middle School Division:
- 1st Prize: Waverly-Shell Rock Middle School taught by Kristie Kuhse. The student created a marketing plan to sell ‘Deep Dish Dining’ and featured beef sliders.
- 2nd Prize: Waverly-Shell Rock Middle School taught by Kristie Kuhse. The student team created a marketing plan to sell ‘Crispy Beef Coconut Pancakes’ and featured a beef product by the same name.
- 3rd Prize: Waverly-Shell Rock Middle School taught by Kristie Kuhse. The student team created a marketing plan to sell ‘Gremlin Goulash’ and featured beef goulash.
High School Division:
- 1st Prize: English Valleys School taught by Kristen Fisch. The student team created a marketing plan to sell ‘Banging Birria Tacos’ and featured chuck roast, short ribs, and oxtail.
- 2nd Prize: Van Meter High School taught by Maura Ballagh. The student team created a marketing plan to sell ‘Chef Ballagh’s Beef Stew’ and featured beef product by the same name.
- 3rd Prize: Dubuque High School taught by Jennifer Gravel. The student team created a marketing plan to sell ‘Beef Please’ and featured a selection of beef cuts in a box.
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 BBQ lunch.
- 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 year, classrooms experienced a new opportunity to through a FarmChat© with Hawkeye Breeders to explore the different cattle breeds, cattle genetics, reproduction, and seed stock. They also had an opportunity to learn more about cow/calf and feedlot operations through a second FarmChat© with Beringer Family Farms.
“This is a fun and experiential way teachers can engage their students while also learning 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.