OSCEOLA – The Osceola school district got a taste of what is to come for next school year with a cook-out using local beef for their lunch on Wednesday afternoon.
As a part of the Nebraska Beef in Schools program that aims to help communities use local beef in their school lunches, Osceola will be partaking in the program the next school year, and used Wednesday to showcase what those new school lunches might taste like.
“About a year ago, Mr. Rinehart, the superintendent had me look at some farm to table options and that got me looking at what other schools were doing. We got to the beef in schools, which we found other schools were doing, and we found that it fit us, and off we went,” said Osceola principal Dale Maynard.
Not only does the new program affect the food, but also changes some of the curriculum that will be taught at school.
“There are over 50 schools in Nebraska that are utilizing the beef booster program, and extension has started to provides some educational resources for them. So the kids are more aware at how ag is produced in their communities and how important a healthy diet is for them,” said Amy Peterson, the extension educator for the Nebraska extension.
For Osceola superintendent Steven A. Rinehart, even though this is only the beginning of the program, he has already seen overwhelming support from the community.
“I think it’s one of those where they care about their school, and they want to see their school thrive. I think this is a good way for them to step up and do these type of things, with the resources we have here locally. I think that’s something they feel a pride in, we are a farming community, and a lot of kids want to stay here and farm,” said Rinehart.
You could ask any number of students what they thought about the local beef hamburgers on Wednesday, and the answer stayed pretty consistent.
“It was really good. I enjoyed it and it tasted really good. It tasted like something my dad would make, like it was a homemade meal,” said 7th grader Sadie Sunday.
Wednesday kicked off the start of a program that will not only benefit the Osceola schools, but also the community.