An Angus Media site

Meeting coverage brought to you by the communications team at Angus Media. Click here to visit www.Angus.Media

Other Angus Media
event sites …
  1. Beef Improvement Federation
  2. Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle
  3. National Angus Conference
  4. Range Beef Cow Symposium

Visit the topic library …

The topic sites in our library offer gateways to information on body condition scoring, beef cow efficiency, country-of-origin labeling, targeting the Certified Angus Beef® brand and more.

Sign up for ...
  1. Angus Journal
  2. Angus Beef Bulletin
  3. Angus Journal Daily
  4. Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA

Angus Journal

Copyright © 2016
Angus Media.
All Rights Reserved

Lesson Plans

ANCW shares beef education lesson plan materials, experiences.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Jan. 27, 2016) — What activities work best to reach youth audiences with educational messages about beef? That was the focus of a presentation hosted by the American National CattleWomen (ANCW) during their meetings Jan. 26, 2016, in San Diego, Calif. The ANCW Consumer Youth K-12 Education Working Group shared four beef-related lesson plans that are available, as well as several personal experiences regarding classroom visits. The information was presented by ANCW president Melanie Fowle and Gabriella DeSimone, a former beef ambassador.

The four curriculums highlighted covered the topics of beef basics, cattle care, what’s for dinner, and taste and nutrition. ANCW collaborated with the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) in the development of this beef education curriculum. It can be found at by clicking the “Resources” tab and then selecting the “Learn About Beef” tab.

Regarding beef basics, DeSimone suggested taking in photos of a beef operation or reading a children’s picture book about the beef industry to an elementary class as a means of introducing them to beef production. “Including pictures, especially of your own operation, really helps kids engage,” she noted.

She also suggested dividing students into small groups and assigning each group to learn about a specific beef breed, then reporting to the class as the “experts” on that breed.

Melanie Fowle
ANCW President Melanie Fowle talks about sharing beef industry lessons with school students. As one example, she demonstrated practicing giving a vaccination in an orange and then talking about beef quality assurance and how producers aim to give shots in the neck to protect end-product quality.

To incorporate geography into the beef lesson, DeSimone suggested utilizing a world map in the classroom to discuss the top beef-producing states in the United States and then having students locate the top beef-producing countries. Discussions might include talking about the different weather and feedstuffs available to raise beef cattle.

Weather might also be a topic discussed while highlighting caring for cattle. Fowle noted that presenters might mention water and drought to students and then pose the question: “Why does it matter?” This may help facilitate a discussion that helps provide students some perspective on how the environment impacts beef production.

Fowle said she likes using the acronym KWL when she visits classrooms. This stands for: Know, Want to Know, Learn. She facilitates discussions with students by asking, “What do you know about cattle/beef?” Then follows that by asking, “What do you want to know about cattle or beef?” Finally she asks, “What have you learned today about beef?”

Asking students what they ate today or yesterday is also a good discussion starter about food and nutrition, shared Fowle.

Additional ideas/activities that CattleWomen shared for visiting student groups included:

In the closing comments, one cattlewoman noted that classroom presentations about beef are important not only because of the opportunity to educate students, but also because it provides an opportunity to educate and engage with teachers.

Another individual commented that beef producers and advocates might consider moving away from use of the word “industry.” She explained, “When something is referred to as an industry, often images of Detroit’s auto industry and smokestacks come to mind. And the same is true of the beef industry; it can portray a connotation we may not agree with.” Instead, she suggested a move away from calling it a “beef industry” and instead move to calling it “a beef community,” with an emphasis on family and community involvement and support.

Lastly, a comment was made reminding CattleWomen in attendance that not every activity or classroom visit will go perfectly, but individuals should continue to learn and continue to take the beef message to youth.

Beef-related educational materials are available at the following websites:, and for high school science and social studies. A free app is also available on iTunes called “Wow that Cow.”

Editor’s Note: The articles used within this site represent a mixture of copyrights.This article was written by or under contract of the Angus Journal, an Angus Media publication. If you would like to reprint or repost the article, you must first request permission by contacting the editor at 816-383-5270; 3201 Frederick Ave., Saint Joseph, MO 64506. The Angus Journal claims copyright to this website as presented. We welcome educational venues and cattlemen to link to this site as a service to their audience.