If you’ve been following along on the BEEF Daily blog for the last decade, then you already know that I have a passion for working with kids and teaching them where their food comes from.
In fact, one of my most read blogs of all time is titled, “Ag education is desperately needed in schools.”
In 2011, my first children’s book, “Levi’s Lost Calf, which was illustrated by Michelle Weber, was published. The story highlights fall roundup on a South Dakota cattle ranch, and teaches kids about the many different types of wildlife that live right alongside the cattle we care for.
It was aimed to be an introduction to how well-managed lands, including pastures, not only provide forages for livestock, but they also provide habitat for birds, bees, deer, fox, rabbits, mice, and so much more.
Fast-forward to 2019, and my second book, “Can-Do Cowkids” was published in partnership with the Georgia Beef Board. This book teaches kids about careers in food and agriculture. Then goes on to invite every child to be part of a future of feeding a hungry planet.
Last year, during the pandemic, a book titled “The Soil Quilt,” which was a project of the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition, was released. This sweet story teaches kids about how our soil is like a blanket for the planet, and farmers and ranchers practice the five principles of good soil health to improve the land and wisely use natural resources.
Just last week, my latest book titled, “BEEF Strong” was announced! This book was a project of the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) and Sanford Health. Illustrated by Michelle Weber, this story takes us off the ranch and moves readers to the gym, where they learn about sports, nutrition, health, wellness, and active lifestyles.
Of course, beef is the star of the show, and young readers learn about how to eat well and fuel their bodies and brains with nutrient-dense beef!
Today, as part of the book launch, we will spend some time with Team USA athletes, who are also members of Team Beef. This Beef Checkoff-funded partnership is a great way to promote excellence in athletics with beef at the center!
The SDBIC has a great program called, “Build Your Base,” where they work with high schools and colleges to promote beef to athletes.
To me, it’s a great investment in our checkoff dollars because young people are being told over and over again that plant-based diets are king, and this program reminds kids that animal fats and proteins are a great way to get the essential nutrients you need to thrive on the court, in the field, at school, and in life!
I’m so very excited about this new book, and I would love if you would check it out! For every book sold in the first month, I will be donating $1 back to the South Dakota Junior Beef Ambassador Program scholarship!
I was so very fortunate to learn from this program when I was a kid, and I am forever thankful that the previous generation of cattlemen and women thought it was important to invest in the industry’s youth!
So, it is a pleasure for me to be on the other end of things and be able to support this program that helped me so much! Even more fun, two of my kids are active South Dakota Junior Beef Ambassadors, and they will be part of the fun in promoting beef, sharing “BEEF Strong” with students, and working alongside the Team USA athletes!
Is your state doing any cool beef promotions that I could highlight on this blog? I would love to share what you’re doing in your neck of the woods to share the great story of beef in your community through the holidays and beyond!
Email me at email@example.com to share your beef projects with me!
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.