Top Cut: A Beef Contest
2019 winning schools and projects
New York Schools Win Beef Competition
Shish kabobs, beef-stuffed mushrooms, and a pancake-wrapped brisket were just a few of the delicious recipes developed, tested, and tasted in the third annual Top Cut Beef Contest for elementary, middle, and high school students. Over 70 schools were able to cook beef in their classrooms and submit their marketing plans. New York Agriculture in the Classroom and the New York Beef Council are pleased to announce the winners of the Top Cut Beef Contest and would like to congratulate each school that participated.
Students and teachers in grades three through twelve were exposed to beef production and nutrition 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 documentary 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.
Adding a new twist this year, students created beef-centric recipes that could be sold from a food truck. The students developed their food truck recipes and tested them 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, Tess Southern, Agriculture Subject Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County and member of the New York Agriculture in the Classroom Advisory Board, said of the entries, "I really enjoyed seeing the creativity that went into the beef centric meals being offered by the students. From a quick taco meal featuring ground beef on the go to a flavorful meal of steak and mushrooms, these youth impressed me with how they would manage, make and market their beef products. Having to plan a meal to be prepped and served from a food truck is no small feat and I would gladly eat any of these meals if given the opportunity!"
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.