Steers for Students program tour

Sandhills Cattle Association

Our ‘Steers for Students’ program is off again for a second year. This program is directed to the youth of the Sandhills for nutritious lunches and education about how beef gets from the pasture to your plate. The donated calves will be penned with the other calves during the Educational, Performance, and Carcass Contest. The ranchers that donated will still receive the calf’s data during and after the contest. However, when the animals are finished, the ‘Steers for Students’ program calves will be sent to Husker Meats LLC of Ainsworth, Neb., instead of being shipped to the larger plants like the other cattle. Jim Pinney of Husker Meats, Nicolas Herrera with University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and other industry professionals will offer local students and producers a chance to learn about carcass evaluation while experiencing how a packing plant operates. Schools of the steer donor’s choice will receive the beef for their school lunch programs at little to no cost.

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This year we have six steers donated to our program. Halls & Sons, Herb and Lora Hall donated two steers, with the beef going to Sandhills Public Schools and Thedford Public Schools. HI/ Cattle Company, Logan and Jennifer Hill donated one steer, with the beef going to Stapleton Public Schools. Lackaff Cattle Co., Richard Lackaff, donated one steer, with the beef going to Rock County Public Schools. Walking X Ranch, Craig and Katie O’Kief donated one steer, with the beef going to Valentine Public Schools. And lastly, Atkinson Livestock, Wes Kilmurry, donated one steer with the beef going to West Holt Public Schools. We are so grateful to these generous producers that will put Sandhills-raised beef in school lunches.

We will hold two programs this year in order to get as many students as we can involved. We will have a ‘Steers for Students Tour’ on April 17, 2023, allowing all invited students to come to Husker Meats, LLC for the day and learn about how the processing plant operates and practice carcass evaluation. Then, at the end of June/July, when the calves are finished, we will have our Steers for Students Program for the ranchers that donated animals and others who want to join. After this program, the beef will be delivered to the schools just in time for the fall semester.

If you wish to donate to the ‘Steers for Students’ program, the association accepts cash donations to cover feed and processing to ensure the beef will be free to the participating schools. You can even choose which school you’d like to ‘sponsor’ in this program. Please contact the Sandhills Cattle Association office at (402) 376-2310, email, or head over to our website at

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