Photos by Codi Vallery-Mills --
Tyrel Eisenbraun and Kalie Kjerstad were two of the local farmers helping serve the school lunch of locally raised beef on Jan. 4 to Wall, S.D. school kids.
Photos by Codi Vallery-Mills -- Tyrel Eisenbraun and Kalie Kjerstad were two of the local farmers helping serve the school lunch of locally raised beef on Jan. 4 to Wall, S.D. school kids.

 

By Codi Vallery-Mills


Beef is what was for lunch – school lunch that is – on Jan. 4 at the Wall, S.D. school. Close to 280 students enjoyed beef that had been raised, harvested and processed within their local community. 

A pilot project of the Wall Economic Development’s Ag Committee, many people were on hand Jan. 4 to take in the school lunch time and serving of the local beef. 

School board president Kevin Bielmaier, who farms and ranches west of Wall, says he believes the Beef to School program means a great deal for the school and the community. “It’s great to have local beef for our kids and for farmers and ranchers to be able to see it used here in this school.”

Bielmaier says when the school board was approached about the idea of serving local beef there wasn’t a hesitation. “It was two thumbs up from the start. We hope that with this pilot project it will open the doors for more schools to join in and do the same thing.”

He gives credit to Ken Charfauros of Wall Meat Processing who really went the extra mile to make sure the meat met all the standards that was necessary to be incorporated into the school lunch program. 

Charfauros was at the Jan. 4 event talking to the students as they ate their lunch and asking how it was. Of the day he says he is “elated” to finally see the beef product on school lunch plates. 

Students dined on a hot beef dish while the school’s FFA Chapter played a power point presentation highlighting beef production. Chapter president Shelby Ruland says the FFA group will present to the students a total of four times throughout the semester to help with their understanding of agriculture and beef nutrition.