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Indiana school, Maine college students are raising own meat

A small herd of cattle is hoped to be able to sustain farming in Hagerstown, Ind.
A small herd of cattle is hoped to be able to sustain farming in Hagerstown, Ind.
Courtesy of Webb Valley Farm

Recently we reported on the Big 10 Real Food Challenge, an effort to bring sustainable food to campus dining halls throughout the Big 10. Similar efforts at other educational institutions have come to our attention.

In Hagerstown, Ind., a herd of beef cattle was recently brought to the grounds of Hagerstown Junior-Senior High School. As reported by the New York Times, caring for the cattle will become part of the agricultural sciences curriculum. At the end of the growing season, the seven cattle, bought with donations, will be slaughtered with the help of a volunteer butcher. The resulting meat will provide the 5,000 pounds of ground beef the school district will need for its cafeteria, with excess meat sold to fund the next herd.

In places like Hagerstown, population, farms, and farmers are all on the decline. This program is hoped to not only fund agricultural sciences classes, but help sustain the community.

At Unity College in Maine, two Guinea hogs were recently acquired to help supply the dining hall. As reported by the Portland Press Herald, they join other heritage breeds San Clemente goats, Delaware chickens, Katahdin sheep and Silver Fox rabbits.

American Guinea hogs were thought to be extinct until 2004, when fewer than 50 were discovered on a farm in Georgia. About 1300 exist today.

The report on the Big 10 Real Food Challenge is available below.

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