Top Cut: A Beef Contest
2018 Winning Schools and Projects
New York Schools Win Beef Competition
Premium dog food, kosher bacon cheeseburgers, and bovine bacon were just a few of the delicious recipes developed, tested, and tasted in the second annual Top Cut Beef Contest for middle and high school students. With over 50 marketing plan submissions the competition was tough. New York Agriculture in the Classroom and the New York State Beef Council are pleased to announce the winners of the Top Cut Beef Contest.
Students and teachers in grades six through twelve were exposed to beef production and nutrition with this experiential learning competition by developing a marketing strategy for a food product of their choice and design. Every classroom was equipped with a True Beef: From Pasture to Plate DVD, the True Beef Educator Guide, lesson plans, and consumer guides to better understand the many cuts of beef and their best uses. Schools were paired with a local beef producer who mentored the students through the process of beef production or supplied the beef necessary for the project. In this hands-on experience, students were exposed to careers in the beef industry and learned about safe food handling practices.
Participants created beef-centric recipes which they made and tested with their target audience. Submissions included sandwiches, stews, meatballs, and even jerky. The creativity with this contest was unlimited as students filmed their own commercials, drew logos, and designed websites to market their products. One of the judges, Christina Hall, 4-H Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chenango County and committee member of the New York Agriculture in the Classroom Advisory Board, said of the entries, "When reading through the entries, I was surprised how engaged I became in the ideas the students created and I was amazed at just how innovative they were." Peter Lehning, co-owner of Lehning Farms in Honeoye Falls said of his judging experience, “As a small beef farmer it was great to see the innovative and creative manners in which the Top Cut entries used beef in such diverse manners and I especially enjoyed their unique marketing ideas.”
The entries from across the state were submitted for judging by a panel of beef producers and industry experts. Each entry was scored based on the product, the market analysis, the marketing plan, and the beef nutrition analysis. The first-place classroom in each division will receive $250, second place earns $100, third place earns $50, and all receive a banner to display their achievement. The first-place schools will also receive a barbeque grill for their classroom from the New York Beef Council.