The students at Missoula’s Washington Middle School were the first in Montana, and perhaps in the entire nation, to chow down on tacos made with beef that was locally grown, slaughtered and processed by its own local school district.

Reporters were invited to Washington Middle School to visit the cafeteria and watch the kids get their first taste of locally grown beef.

Supervisor of Food and Nutrition at Missoula County Public Schools, Stacey Rossmiller provided details.

“This is beef that was processed by our Ag department out at Big Sky High School,” said Rossmiller. “The students were the ones to slaughter it, process it, the whole nine yards. Others have researched this, and as of right now as far as we can find we’re the first district in the nation to be taking beef that is processed by our kids and put back into our program for our kids to eat, so it’s not just farm to school, it’s school to farm to school, which is really cool.”

Rossmiller said she has personally visited the processing facility.

“I went out and toured the facility, which is absolutely incredible,” she said. “This is a group of kids that are taking a part of their education that will go on with them into their lives. It’s a real life experience, and I think it’s really cool.”

MCPS Communications Director Hatton Littman was also delighted with the response.

“It’s not very often that we get to produce for our students something that was completely made by our students, that’s incredible,” said Littman. “To know that this is in 12 schools, all nine elementary schools, three middle schools and one of our high schools, so 13 of our schools are being fed great amazing nutritious beef that was produced by our students.”

Once the bell rang and the students began to file in they sat down with their ‘walking tacos’ and the reaction was positive. Most of the students had no idea where the beef came from, they just devoured their tacos.