BISMARCK, North Dakota — The North Dakota Beef Commission has awarded $35,000 in educational Beef Mini Grants to 32 North Dakota family and consumer science educators, 26 agriculture education programs, and nine North Dakota State University Extension offices across the state.

The competitive grants are to be used for the purchase of beef for use in classroom curriculum and youth/adult lessons about beef selection, storage, preparation, and nutrition.

The NDBC mini-grants and educational materials are provided by beef producers who fund the Beef Checkoff.

“The Beef Mini Grants are an important component in the NDBC’s efforts to educate consumers, and in-particular our young consumers, about choosing and preparing beef as a part of a healthy diet,” said NDBC Consumer Marketing and Industry Relations Specialist Nicole Wardner in a statement. “Our educators and extension agents work hard to reach youth and adults across the state, and the NDBC is proud to help them in their efforts.”

The grant funds are allocated on a first-come-first serve basis and are only available to North Dakota schools and NDSU Extension offices. Selection criteria includes the number of students/youth involved, the length of the activity/lesson, and the measured youth impact on beef consumption and demand. The NDBC also provides supporting resources to educators and extension agents with beef-based curriculum.

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The bulk of the grants — $23,750 — went to agriculture education programs, in grants from $300 to $1,000, at the following 26 schools: Richland 44, Beulah, Southeast Region Career and Technology Center in Oakes, Hillsboro, Wahpeton, Towner Granvillle Upham, Gackle Streeter, Garrison, Rugby, North Valley Career and Technical Center in Grafton, New Salem, Lakota, Stanley, United Public School District 7 Des Lacs, Hettinger, Ashley, Leeds, Center-Stanton, Kidder County, McClusky, Wilton, Turtle Lake-Mercer, Bismarck Career Academy, Ray and Velva. Southeast Region Career and Technology Center in Oakes received two grants.

Of the $35,000 distributed, $8,000 went to family and consumer science educators at the following schools: Central Cass, Lisbon, Bottineau, Ellendale, Northwood, Carrington, Cavalier, Maple Valley, Midway, Grand Forks Red River, Beach, Fargo Davies, Westhope, Fargo South, West Fargo Liberty Middle School, Washburn, West Fargo Sheyenne, West Fargo High School, Grand Forks South Middle School, Divide County, Kindred, Harvey, St. Johns, Hazen, Tioga, Sargent Central, Grafton, Fargo Ben Franklin Middle School, Minot, and Dunseith. West Fargo Sheyenne and West Fargo High School each received two grants.

The Beef Commission awarded 13 $250 grants to NDSU Extension agents in the following nine counties: Wells, Ramsey, Adams, Ward, Dickey, Golden Valley, Logan, Grand Forks and Hettinger counties. Agents in Grand Forks received five grants.