West Des Moines, Iowa – April 23, 2020 – How would you like to try a tasty dish of beef tongue tacos or cheesy beefsteak bake? Iowa students from across the state recently participated in the High Steaks! Beef Marketing Competition in a bid to win judges over with their knowledge of beef products and marketing savvy.

The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF), in partnership with the Iowa Beef Industry Council, hosts the annual High Steaks! Beef Marketing Competition. The experiential learning contest allows students to creatively develop a marketing strategy for a beef product of their choice, while learning about the multitude 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.

“This competition is an opportunity for Iowa’s elementary, middle, and high school teachers to bring agriculture into their classrooms, incorporating it into subjects they’re already teaching about,” said Will Fett, executive director of the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation.

Student winners announced

A total of 93 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:

  • 1st Prize: Central Elementary School taught by Cheryl Kremer in Elkader, Iowa. The student team of Blair Scherf submitted a poster promoting ‘Ribs.’
  • 2nd Prize: Des Moines Christian Elementary taught by Rhonda Osborn. The student team of Anya, Attleigh, and Aiden submitted a poster promoting ‘Palm Tree Beef.’
  • 3rd Prize: Gilmore City-Bradgate Elementary taught by Kelsey Wigans. The student team of Olivia Dickey, Reese Benjamin, Kinley Eastman, Alana Adamson, Bradley Wiemers, and Jadalynn Dobbs submitted a poster promoting ‘Make Your Beef Tongue Your #1.’

Middle School Division:

  • 1st Prize: Mid-Iowa Youth Beef Team taught by Maureen Hanson. The student team of Jillian Hanson, Olivia Hanson, William Kroneman, and Natalie Nichols created a marketing plan to sell ‘Cheesy Beefsteak Bake.’
  • 2nd Prize: Waverly Shell Rock Middle School taught by Kristie Kuhse. The student team of Chelsey Cole, Cambrie Otis, Ariana Ellerbrock, and Clara Shoultz created a marketing plan to sell ‘Asian Beef Salad.’
  • 3rd Prize: Waverly Shell Rock Middle School taught by Kristie Kuhse. The student team of Annika Ross and Lanie Hermeyer created a marketing plan to sell ‘LA Gourmet Beef Bourguignon.’

High School Division:

  • 1st Prize: Mid-Iowa Youth Beef Team taught by Julie Gray. The student team of Gabriel Hanson, Frances Jackson, Conner Murty, Layne Murty, Sydney Parizek created a marketing plan to sell ‘ZIP Power Strips.’
  • 2nd Prize: Sumner Fredericksburg High School taught by Karen Van De Walle. The student team of Sydney Berkes, Katie Reno, Mariela Coronel Mejia, Lillian Sassmann, Sabrina Cox, Eddie Ball, Quinn Kottke, Andrew Rahlf, Dawson Schmidt, Lane Smith, Cameron Walvatne, Chris Wehling, Dylan Wehling, and Colton Yungtum created a marketing plan to sell ‘Lasagna Ole.’
  • 3rd Prize: Dubuque Senior High School taught by Jennifer Gravel. The student team of Isiah Aguayo, Larissa Edwards, Patricia Fay, Gavin Guns, Marissa Kemp, Cal McCue, Dawson Olson, Allison Recker, and Jacquelyn Schissel created a marketing plan to sell ‘Beef Box.’

Submissions were judged by a panel of industry experts, beef producers, and educators. Prizes include up to $200, a personalized virtual tour (FarmChat®) of a beef farm with a local farmer, and first place classrooms will have a BBQ lunch.

Competition Details

  • Elementary students who participated in the contest selected a beef product and then worked together in teams of three or more, 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.
  • Each classroom that participates receives supporting books and lesson plans such as the My Family’s Beef Farm book, Beef: A Healthy Option, or True Beef Educator among other materials.

“We hope teachers find this program a fun and educational experience for their classrooms, and a unique way of engaging their students while also learning about beef production in Iowa,” Fett 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.