Staff Hero Image


K.Swope | March 25, 2024

Bedford, PA – The Pennsylvania Beef Council (PBC) facilitated opportunities for classrooms across the Commonwealth during Ag Literacy Week, March 18-22, 2024. PBC launched the PA Beef to PA Schools (PBPS) program in Fall 2022. Now in its second year, the program continues to build momentum and interest across the state. The PBC provided an opportunity for participating districts to feature The Journal of Rowdy the Cow Kid by Amanda Radke in Elementary classrooms throughout the week. The story follows Rowdy, as he shares 12 months of his life as a cow kid! The story teaches young readers about how cattle help the land, water, and air, alongside farmers and ranchers who truly care. 

Beef producer volunteers and industry stakeholders visited local classrooms in over 16 school districts to facilitate interactive reading opportunities, which also provided students with the opportunity to ask questions about beef and beef production. Over 90 copies of the book were placed within participating classrooms and will remain part of their school libraries for students to enjoy year-round.  

The PBPS program is spearheaded by the PBC, with additional funding support from the PA Department of Agriculture through an Ag Commodity Promo grant. Additionally, local producers have also provided generous donations, as it remains a priority and passion to feed the next generation. 

The PA Beef to PA Schools program is currently active in 32 school districts throughout the state with growing participation. Beef includes ten essential nutrients that can support a healthy and active lifestyle through the power of protein. The opportunity to connect the local beef community with classrooms during Ag Literacy Week further builds awareness of the program, as well as provides a foundation of trust for the beef community, and agriculture as a whole. 

"Connecting schools and their students and families to the agriculture community is so important. The average American today is at least three generations removed from its agricultural roots. Today with less farmers and cattle, we are still able to meet the needs thanks to technology and farmers who care. From cafeteria to school lunch tray, beef is doing its part in sharing how farmers care and the quality protein they can provide to fill the minds and young bellies of children." said Nichole Hockenberry, PA Beef Council, Executive Director. 

To learn more, contact Nichole Hockenberry, PA Beef Council, Executive Director at [email protected] or 1-888-4BEEFPA. 


The Pennsylvania Beef Council is a producer-controlled and funded organization, which administers the Beef Checkoff Program in Pennsylvania. The Beef Checkoff Program assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. Checkoff revenues may be used for promotion, education and research programs to improve the marketing climate for beef.