Beef, Beef the Magical Meat

Tara Hutchison/Lusk Herald Braxton Thomas hones his roping skills to doctor a renegade in the pasture at the Jan. 31 4-H Friday’s All About Beef relay race.

LUSK – Last week’s 4-H Friday had the kids talking all about Beef.

Kicking off the class held at the Niobrara County Fairgrounds by the Extension Office, the kids got to play a game of bingo while they talked about the different aspects of beef.

Sparking the kids’ creativity, each child designed their own, one-of-a-kind brand using markers and ear tags they took home afterwards. 

Sharon Cardwell who moved to the area around five years ago and is a member of the Niobrara Cattlewomen and a Homemaker spoke to the kids about the process a herd of cattle goes through. 

“I think the draw for me is that I have two granddaughters that come,” Cardwell said. 

Making it an interactive class, they worked through all of the responsibility that goes into a successful cattle operation. Cardwell had the kids answer questions about what a brand means to the rancher further explaining why they are important. Cardwell also explained that ranchers have to be able to maintain the amount of water that they provide to their herd in order to stay healthy as well as be equipped to nourish their calves.

To give the kids another fun activity, they had a relay race that split the kids into two teams where they had to don a work hat and scarf to go rope and doctor a cow, gather eggs, get cake for the cattle in the amount equal to their age and drop it into a feed tub finishing with a race back to the next contestant.

Finishing up the class the kids got to make their own tacos. 

 Erin Smith the Extension Office Administrative Assistant said, “Beef for the all about beef, and then marshmallows for the byproducts. On Valentine’s Day we’re actually making homemade marshmallows.”

Marshmallows, among other products that people use every day, all require bits and pieces of the cattle that are slaughtered.

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