Durango School District 9-R

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Where's the Beef?

New this year, the school district has now purchased its own, locally sourced cows to bring in the best and freshest options for its meals. These cows came from a Mancos-area ranch, and were all 100% grass-finished and fed cows who were humanely raised. Many consumers don’t know the difference between a grass-finished and grass-fed cow; a primary difference is that typically grass-fed cows are fed grains near the end of their life, whereas grass-finished cows receive the best nutrition all the way to the end of life. Additionally, the grass and hay are of the best quality and are never treated with herbicides or insecticides.


This great new program allows the school district to “own our own herd” as well as have full control over its beef supply, guaranteeing fresher beef options on the menu. These first four cows will be able to serve students through the first half of the year!


“I am really excited to pilot this new way of procuring the highest quality food for our students,” says Krista Garand, Nutrition Services Coordinator for the District. “Our staff in the kitchens will feature our 9-R beef in tacos and spaghetti and meat sauce. I would like to add a quick thank you to Sunnyside Meats here in Durango for the processing of the animals because without them this project would be much more difficult.”


Working with Sunnyside Meats for humane and local processing, these options add to the high-quality, made from scratch, locally sourced options you find throughout the District’s nutritional and delicious school meal options, which include both breakfast and lunch options, and unlimited salad bars at our schools.


“We are proud of the incredible offerings and programs the Nutrition Services Department offers our students,” says Dan Snowberger, Superintendent. “The continued growth we experience in the school cafeteria is due to the dedicated efforts of all our staff in nutrition services, who provide homemade meals of the best quality and taste to our students.”