Wessington Springs School District

Farm to School Programs

The Wessington Springs School Lunch program is looking to use local beef for our lunch program. The lunch program uses approximately 2400 lbs of beef during the school year which equates to 3-5 head of beef. Currently, the school uses beef from USDA commodities food distributors. Some of the commodity beef is shipped into the US is from other countries.

The Beef to School program is designed to introduce school aged children to local producers by offering locally raised beef at lunch. The school also provides educational opportunities on the importance of agriculture, nutrition, and "knowing where their food comes from." The goal is to increase participation in school meal programs, to reduce food budgets, and to create markets for local farmers and ranchers.

The Wessington Springs School District is asking for ranchers to donate locally raised beef for this program. By participating, local producers will provide higher quality meat to our students and help to reduce district food costs.

Types of beef that can be donated:

  • Market Steers (1000 to 1500 libs)

  • Open Heifers (under two years of age)

  • Cull Cows and Cull Bull-processed into pure ground beef patties

Beef to School Information:

  • Producers may donate beef to the school district or make a monetary donation to defray the cost of the processing

  • There will be no cost to the producer for their donation

  • The donation is tax deductible

  • The producer will arrange with the district on drop off for processing

  • All donations will be recognized by the district

According to the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and the Farm to School USDA Office of Community Food Systems guidelines, the meat processing facility must be approved to process locally raised beef for the Wessington Springs School Lunch Program. Cattle producers are asked to notify the school of their donation intention. The district will then schedule their cattle for meat processing.

As a part of the program the Wessington Springs FFA students will utilize the SD Beef Industry Council's FACS, ProStart and Ag Beef Program materials to enhance the Pasture to Plate Curriculum. This program will offer students an opportunity to engage in conversations and activities about beef nutrition. This is an important element in building beef demand for our future generations.

farm to school sd

To donate an animal or money to this program contact

Marcy Argo

Business Manager



thank you

Please use the form below to let us know you want more information about how you can participate.

Farm to School

4 Questions

Donating a cow
Donating money
Donating other local foods