FFA students place in beef competition

Friday, April 23, 2021

Iowa students from across the state participated this month in the “High Steaks! Beef Marketing Competition” to show their knowledge of beef products and marketing savvy.

Among the 44 entries, A-A High School FFA students were among the student winners. Entries were received from elementary, middle and high schools across Iowa.

In the high school division, 2nd prize went to A-A High School’s FFA taught by Jamie Haugen. The student team of Brandon Mier, Makayli Snyder, Ella Walters and Abbie Watts created a marketing plan to sell ‘Beef Fajita.’ Third prize went to the A-A student team of Kelly Jensen, Sara Cargin and Alex DeRoos who created a marketing plan to sell ‘Beefy Cheese.’ First prize in the high school division went to the Lynnville-Sully FFA.

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 were awarded a BBQ lunch.

The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF), in partnership with the Iowa Beef Industry Council, hosts the annual 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 and 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.

Middle school and high school students who participated worked together to submit a marketing plan of their selected beef-focused product which included an introduction, product details, marketing tactics, a market analysis and nutrition information. Elementary students had a different set of criteria.

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.