A new beef "Ag Mag," developed by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture and funded in part by the Beef Checkoff, is available for purchase in classroom sets of 30 and in free eReader format.

The Ag Mag, a newspaper-style reader, features information about beef production, nutrition and related careers, and encourages discussions about the industry in the classroom and at home. The Ag Mag is aligned to national learning standards and is written at a fourth-grade reading level, although the interest level is very broad. The Ag Mag and other beef education resources developed by the Foundation can be found here.

"The Beef Ag Mag was designed not only for classrooms, but also to be used by families and other youth groups as they learn where their food comes from," said Julie Tesch, executive director of the Foundation.

In addition to the beef-based curriculum, the Ag Mag features four agricultural leaders who play different roles within the industry. The featured leaders include a meat scientist from Minnesota and cattle ranchers from Nebraska, Mississippi and Idaho.

"These leaders represent a great cross-section of the industry that both youth and adults will enjoy getting to know," Tesch said. "All of these leaders are committed to providing superb animal care, producing a nutritious product and sharing the story of their ranch."

The Beef Checkoff Program funded the development of the new beef Ag Mag. The Beef Checkoff Program (www.MyBeefCheckoff.com) was established as part of the 1985 farm bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live, domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products.

In states with qualified beef councils, states retain up to 50 cents of the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.

The Foundation's Ag Mag series includes apples, bees, corn, dairy, energy, pizza, poultry, soybeans and careers in agriculture. These educational resources, along with the beef Ag Mag, are available at www.agfoundation.org.