• Newsletter
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram


Top Cut: A Beef Contest

Beef Contest

New York Agriculture in the Classroom and the New York State Beef Council have partnered to offer an exciting cross-curricular program for middle and high school students to engage with and understand beef production. This experiential learning contest will allow your students to creatively develop a marketing strategy for a product of their choice, while learning about the multitude of agricultural careers and skills it takes to develop and sell a product. Students will also be learning about the beef production industry and beef nutrition as a result of participation.

2018 Winning Schools and Projects

New York Agriculture in the Classroom and the New York State Beef Council are pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural Top Cut Beef Contest. In this contest students and teachers were exposed to beef production and nutrition with this experiential learning competition where they developed a marketing strategy for a product of their choice and design.
View the 2018 winning schools and projects »


Students will work independently or as a group to develop a marketing and nutrition plan for a beef-centric product or recipe.


6th through 12th grade students working in groups or as a classroom in New York State are eligible to participate. Pre-registration is required in the respective grade divisions. Multiple groups or classrooms from the same school may participate. FFA chapters, home school groups, and private schools are also eligible to participate.


Middle School (6th – 8th Grade) & High School (9th – 12th Grade)

Contest Timeline

Pre-Registration is open from October 1-31, 2017
Contest submissions are due January 26, 2018
Winners will be announced no later than February 27, 2018


The marketing plans will be judged by a panel of beef producers and educators (see rubric for judging criteria). The top three schools from each division will be listed, and two honorable mentions denoted. Prizes for this contest are generously awarded by the New York Beef Council.

  • Cash prizes per division include:
    • 1st Place - $250
    • 2nd Place - $100
    • 3rd Place - $50
  • A banner to be displayed in the school or community
  • 1st place classrooms will have a BBQ lunch brought to their school and catered by the New York Beef Council


You are encouraged to partner with a local beef producer to encourage your students to learn about the entire beef production system. If you would like assistance in identifying a beef producer in your area, please identify your interest on your pre-registration form or contact: Katie Carpenter.


All classrooms must pre-register to participate in the contest. With preregistration, your classroom will receive a True Beef DVD and paired curriculum guide valued at $30 provided at no cost courtesy of New York Agriculture in the Classroom.

True Beef: From Pasture to Plate (DVD) – This is an innovative educational documentary that follows high school students as they learn about the entire process of beef production. The documentary features culinary and agricultural high school students and is designed to teach students where their food comes from while learning the importance of farming and ranching.

True Beef Educator Guide – This series of lesson plans supports the documentary "True Beef". The guide contains 8 lessons designed to follow along with the chapters in the documentary. STEM connections have been included for all lessons and it is easy for teachers to make connections across the curriculum.

Registration for 2018 is now closed

Contest Procedures

Use this document to learn more about the contest, and five categories of a marketing plan students will need to develop and submit.
Contest Procedures »

Additional Lessons and Classroom Tools

Beef Basics Lesson – Students will explain the importance of the beef cattle industry including the products the cattle produce, the production process from farm to plate, and how cattle can utilize and obtain energy from grass and other forage.

FoodMaster: Meat, Poultry and Fish – In this lesson, students will learn how animals utilize nutrients and energy from food humans cannot digest and convert it to meat, a food rich in zinc, iron, and protein. Students will discover how hamburger is formulated for leanness, compare two kinds for hot dogs, and learn about fish.

Roll of the Genes – Students will learn about genes and how they affect certain traits such as growth, reproduction, disease resistance, and behavior. Students will discover the responsibilities of an animal geneticist.

Beef for the Classroom

Teachers or groups who need beef in order to develop their product or recipe can apply to have their beef purchases reimbursed. Schools may be reimbursed up to $100 for beef purchases within reasonable limits related to class size and cut of beef purchased. The application process is easy, and lessons and resources are provided to every teacher who receives a grant.
Apply Today »


Please direct any questions you have about this contest to Katie Carpenter.