Montana students help kids create a ‘Made in Montana Happy Meal’ |

Montana students help kids create a ‘Made in Montana Happy Meal’

tesy photo/Shannon ArnoldLeaAnn Larson, an MSU agricultural education student, teaches kids in MSU's Graduate Family Housing about apples - one of the components of a "Made in Montana Happy Meal" - before pressing them into juice. Cour

BOZEMAN – Kids living in Montana State University’s Family and Graduate Housing built their own “Made in Montana Happy Meal” using Montana agricultural products the weekend of Nov. 13-14. The hands-on activities based on nutrition, sustainable and local foods, and the agricultural industry were led by MSU College of Agriculture students.

Students in an agricultural education (ag ed) class developed six educational stations that taught about the contents of a “Happy Meal.” At one station, they discussed the processing of wheat from kernel to dough and demonstrated how buns are made. At another station, they made a hamburger patty and discussed the importance of Montana beef. There were also cheese tasting and vegetable stations. The kids pressed home-made apple juice and learned how to create homemade pickles.

The program also included arts and crafts and recreational activities including a potato sack race and agricultural bingo. At the end, kids enjoyed ice cream they made in plastic bags and created reusable shopping bags out of T-shirts.

Ag ed students designed and implemented the program, guided by ag ed assistant professor Shannon Arnold and graduate teaching assistant JoLynn Miller.

“This program gave experience to the MSU ag ed students who are future educators,” said Miller. “And it helped the youth understand where their food comes from and how connected we all are to agriculture. Even in Montana, kids say they think milk comes from the grocery store.”

Nine MSU students and 11 Family and Graduate Housing (FGH) kids participated in the program.

Shannon Arnold, assistant professor of agriculture education and instructor for the class, said Liz Grant in FGH organized the program and Jen Blair, a community assistant from FGH, attended the program. FGH provided all the funding for the program materials.