Cattlemen donate 425 pounds of beef to schools

Keeping with a longstanding tradition that goes hand-in-hand with National Beef Month every year, the Franklin County Cattlemen’s Association recently donated 425 pounds of beef to be used in both county and city schools.

The 425 pounds of beef were divided into ground beef, ground chuck, stew meat and round steak that students in the family and consumer science (FCS) departments at the different schools can use to make fajitas, hamburgers and other beef dishes.

Cattlemen officials presented the beef on Oct. 22 to representatives from Phil Campbell High School, Red Bay High School, Russellville High School, Russellville Middle School and Belgreen High School, which are the schools in the county with family and consumer science departments.

The donation, which is worth over $1,500, is something the Cattlemen have been doing for over 40 years, and Franklin County Cattlemen president Floyd Willingham, Jr. said the group always looks forward to giving back to the schools.

“We are proud to support the schools in our county,” Willingham said.

“This is something we have done for a long time, and it’s a great way for the Cattlemen to support our students, our teachers and the family and consumer science programs.”

Franklin County Cattlemen board member Frank Mitchell said the project was something that not only helped the schools but it also helps the cattle industry as well.

“This project moves a lot of beef and supports the cattle farmers,” Mitchell said.

“We hope the donation helps the teachers financially but we also hope it teaches the students the importance of beef and how many different ways it can be used,” past state president Orland Britnell added.

“Beef is the number one product for protein, which is such an important part of a person’s diet.”

With school budgets already stretched thin, the FCS teachers said they are thankful for every bit of help they can get to help implement their curriculum.

“Our program is enhanced every year by this donation because it allows us to do more food labs than we would have been able to do otherwise,” said Cindy Coan, FCS teacher at Russellville High School.

“Meat is the most expensive thing in our budget, so to have a portion of that just donated to us is just great.”

Belgreen High School assistant principal Robynn Bragwell, who teaches two FCS classes at Belgreen, said she was grateful for the donation as well.

“We had a full-time family and consumer science department at Belgreen until it had to be closed down in 1999,” Bragwell said.

“When I came back to Belgreen in 2007 as the assistant principal, I started teaching a couple of classes, but we haven’t been able to build back up to a full-time program yet.

“We are tremendously grateful to the Cattlemen’s Association for being generous enough to donate this beef to our program even though we’re only part-time.

“This will help us in so many ways and will really be a benefit to our classes and our students.”

Sherry Hutcheson, FCS teacher at Red Bay High School, and Monica Creekmore, FCS teacher at Phil Campbell High School, said they hoped to use the meat they received in their annual county beef cook-off.

“This is something the kids always look forward to and we appreciate the Cattlemen for their continued generosity,” Hutcheson said.

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