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It's not every day Cathy Cooper hears that an entire beef has been donated to her students at Orchard Public School.
But the recent phone call from Bob Ickes is one she would to repeat again. Ickes, along with his wife Shari, children Matt, Adam, Rachael, the late Rebecca and their spouses donated a beef for slaughter for the school.
"I'm so grateful to the Ickes family for the generosity and the support of our school," Cooper said. "Our community has really been supportive of our Beef in the Schools program."
Ickes said he received a letter about the program and immediately felt like "it was the right thing to do" and his family agreed. In fact, he never had to ask. They each asked to be a part to make it a family effort.
"Shari and I went to school in Orchard and our four children went there and enjoyed their time," Ickes said. "Orchard included us and were good to our children. It seemed like something I would be excited to be a part of."
Cooper said because of the donations - from cash to the beef - the school will be able to provide the students and staff home-raised, local beef while getting an educational experience.
"Some of our kids don't ever get true, home-raised Nebraska beef and so, that's exciting. But also, it's educational," Cooper said.
For Ickes, he said it's not just exciting for the school or the students. He said he feels the same way about the program. His beef will be ready for slaughter in late spring and will be ready for lunches in the fall.
"I'm just really excited to be a part of this," he said. "I think this is a great program. To make sure good, local beef is served is really a great thing for Orchard."
If you are interested in donating toward the implementation of the new program, please contact Cathy Cooper via phone at (402)-893-3215 or via email at email@example.com.
Contributors to the Been in the Schools program include: Bank of Orchard, Ben Clifton - $250; Butch's Body Shop, Butch and Terri Hergert - $250; Mitties Gravel, Curt and Connie Mitties - $250; Cooper Farms, Jim and Yvonne Cooper - $250; B&C Ranches, Matt and Tamara Cooper - $150; Jim and Kristi Schutt - $100; anonymous - $100; Mark and Cathy Cooper - $100 and transportation of beef to and from locker; and Bob and Shari, Matt and Lori, and Adam and Lindsay on behalf of the Ickes family - Nebraska-raised beef for slaughter.