The Kansas Beef Council (KBC) provided educational resources to the Kansas Department of Education (KSDE) for use in their statewide Farm to Summer Challenge. During the week of June 22-26, Kansas schools were encouraged to serve local foods in their summer feeding programs and incorporate agricultural enrichment activities to celebrate.
Participating schools committed to serving a minimum of one local food and providing a minimum of one educational food activity. Schools shared their experiences through social media, websites and by using the hashtag #fuelingkskids. Participating schools were sent beef educational coloring and activity books, as well as a checkoff-produced video about raising cattle to share with their students. Sheree Jones, food service director for the Haven School District, shared details of their participation in the challenge. The Haven Summer Foods Program celebrated local farms June 24 by serving 350 children a delicious BBQ lunch featuring local beef burgers.
Collaborating with partners such as KSDE allows KBC to engage in farm-to-plate education activities that benefit children by offering repeat exposure to new foods, like beef, which can promote lifelong healthy food preferences and eating patterns. Food-based learning opportunities provided by checkoff-funded resources help educate students, teachers and providers about how beef can be included in healthy habits and their local food systems.