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4 Items Buzzing About Beef In The Media This Week

Here is a round-up of this week’s beef buzz, from school lunches, to showing cattle, to inmates working on a dairy, and even a new study that indicates animal proteins help you lose weight. Here are four headlines you might want to check out this week.

1. Students Raise Beef For School Lunches, featured on

Forget Michelle Obama’s school lunch program, which tends to skimp on the protein. For one high school, students are beefing up their own school lunches, pun intended, by raising their own burgers.

According to the news report, “School lunches are about to take on new meaning at Hagerstown Jr. Sr. High School (Hagerstown, IN). Plans are under way for the school’s students to raise their own beef cattle during agriculture classes this year, the same cows that will be slaughtered, butchered and, ultimately, turned into the hamburgers that will be served in the cafeteria. Officials are calling the initiative, ‘Where’s The Beef?’ and agriculture teacher Nathan Williamson says it will offer a unique learning opportunity for his students and a $2,000 cost savings for the Nettle Creek School Corporation’s budget.”

3. Colorado Prisoners Tend To Buffalo Dairy Farm, as reported by 

This might be the most unique dairy operation I have ever heard of. The business is run by inmates from the Colorado Correctional Facility in Canon City, and the animals are water buffalo instead of Holsteins. The buffalo milk is marketed to Leprino Foods and is used to make products like mozzarella cheese for pizza.

While some opponents of this program say government shouldn’t be entering into for-profit businesses like this, it could also serve as a positive thing for the inmates.

According to the piece, “The prisoners have to apply for jobs. No one is forcing them to work. Critics have pointed to the fact that this is cheap labor for for-profit companies. But the important thing is these jobs give the men marketable skills when they're released. Ninety seven percent of all inmates are getting out. They're hitting the streets. So what do you want when that guy comes in and moves next to you? Do you want him to be able to have a job and keep a job or do you want him to go out and do the same habits he did when he came in? A Colorado Corrections Department study showed if prisoners spent the last nine months of their incarceration working, they had a 19% better chance of not reoffending.”

3. Eat A Full Fat Breakfast and Lose Weight? by Michael and Lesley Tierra for 

This blog is a win for animal proteins, which are often demonized by nutritionists. A new study shows that high-fat and high-protein foods like eggs, bacon, steak and pork chops are good for our health.

“A study by Martin E. Young, published in the March 30, 2010, issue of the International Journal of Obesity found that a high-fat (that's fat, not protein!), low-carb breakfast jump starts your metabolism so that you have more energy throughout the day and you will process food more efficiently and lose belly fat, insulin resistance, lower blood lipids and prevent coronary heart disease, as well as prevent and reverse type 2 diabetes.”

4. “Teen, Recovered From Heart Surgery, Finds Success In The Dairy Barn” by The Frederick News-Post

Could cattle be good therapy? I know I always feel recharged and optimistic after a day of working with cattle. Even on a bad day, if I’m on the ranch, life is good. Recently, I came across a story about a teenaged girl who recovered from heart surgery by showing cattle. This is such a heart-warming story. I encourage you to read the entire piece and perhaps leave an encouraging note for Kayla Lenhart in the comments section.

“Earlier this summer Kayla Lenhart, 14, was recovering from heart surgery, which will require lifelong medical care. Now the Lewistown, CA, teenager is showing livestock at The Great Frederick Fair and planning a trip to the World Dairy Expo. Brenda Lenhart said she's happy that her daughter returned to showing livestock so quickly after the surgery.

“She did phenomenal after the surgery,” said Lenhart. “The doctors expected her to be down for a little while. But all she kept saying was 'I want to show. I want to show.'”


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