MU Collegiate Cattlewomen host hands-on beef education event

MU Collegiate Cattlewomen held their ninth annual Meet Your Meat event on Wednesday, April 18, at Tradition’s Plaza on the MU campus. The event ran from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. and featured educational games and materials, ribeye sandwiches and two live heifers.

Sarah Gholson, the club’s social chair, said the event promotes the beef industry and educates students.

“We want to show students that their meat isn’t just manufactured by grocery stores,” she said. “We want students to know that it comes from an actual farm.”

The event’s main attraction were the two cows, Belle and Princess.

MU student Ayanna Hayes said she was curious to know why there were two cows on campus.

“First, we thought there was free food, then we saw the cows and thought, ‘Hmm, that’s interesting,’” she said.

Hayes said the club told her about producing cows and calves and how they end up on the dinner plate.

“I like how they explained the beef life cycle,” Hayes said. “You know what you are getting.”

The sandwiches were also a way to educate students.

“Selling ribeye sandwiches is another way for us to bridge the gap,” she said. “We wanted to show students that, ‘This is my meat, the sandwich, and this is where it comes from, the cows.”

Meet Your Meat has raised over $3,000 in the previous years and serves as the club’s largest fundraiser. The money raised goes toward educational activities for club members so they can continue to educate the public.

For example, over spring break, MU Collegiate Cattlewomen visited Grand Island, Nebraska, where the group toured JBS USA’s distribution center at the company’s beef processing plant. JBS USA is a beef products processor.

After a training such as this, members are better able to advocate for the beef industry on campus with events like Meet Your Meat.

“Sometimes students find those conversations difficult, but they are ones that need to be had,” said Gholson.

Missouri is second in cow/calf operations in the U.S., and most MU Collegiate Cattlewomen members raise cattle. The club is made up of around 40 women and serves as an auxiliary group of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association focused on beef promotion and education around the state.