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FHSU beef event serves up food, fun

By DAWNE LEIKER

dleiker@dailynews.net

An educational and tasty celebration of agriculture brought students and faculty to the Fort Hays State University quad Thursday afternoon.

In its fourth year, the beef and agriculture awareness event featured a hamburger recipe contest, dairy cow milking and water quality demonstrations, a free hamburger and hot dog lunch and "spin the wheel," an agriculture trivia game with Trent Loos.

Loos, host of "Loos Tales," a radio program that airs on more than 100 radio stations across the Midwest, said the timing of Thursday's event, coming on the heels of Earth Day, was appropriate.

"Ag has made numerous contributions to efficiency," he said. "Compared to 1945, we have the same amount of beef cows but are able to feed twice the number of people with the same amount of beef."

Loos, who also participated at FHSU's first beef and agriculture awareness event four years ago, was scheduled to address students Thursday evening at a Collegiate Farm Bureau presentation. He said he planned to discuss topics about modern food production that typically are misunderstood.

With access to the "healthiest and most reasonably priced supply of food in the world," he said. Americans take food production for granted.

"Much of what we know isn't so," he said, citing recent news stories of "pink slime," or finely textured beef, genetic modification of crops and animal hormones.

"So it's bringing home (to people) how universities like Fort Hays State have contributed to efficiencies in modern food production," he said. "People don't grasp the safety and what it is that's been accomplished."

Lined up on the patio of the Memorial Union, six teams of beef production class students offered samples of their ground beef recipes to folks ready to cast their vote for their favorite dish.

Collegiate Farm Bureau members barbecued hot dogs and hamburgers, a project that was a bit tenuous due to a light spring shower that fell throughout the event.

"We were wondering if they were even going to do it," Collegiate Farm Bureau President Ashley Montgomery said of the barbecue.

But with the addition of canopies over the serving tables, the steady stream of students was served without a hitch.