Emily Hanlin mugshot - 1
By Emily Hanlin
Ag Communications and Administrative Assistant
Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau
BOONE COUNTY – Google has information on fast food restaurants across America serving approximately 50 million people every day.
That’s not surprising, but how do we decide which quick greasy food to choose when we are driving down the highway?
Well, if this was 1950 and you were in San Bernardino, Calif., you might be stopping at Bell’s Hamburgers and Hot Dogs owned by Mr. Glen W. Bell Jr.
Bell’s Hamburgers and Hot Dogs began as a hamburger stand selling fast foods such as burgers, hot dogs, fries, and shakes. Then, taking advantage that his stand was located in a Hispanic neighborhood, Bell started selling crispy-hard-shell tacos at 19 cents each. That’s right folks, our beloved Taco Bell used to sell burgers and fries!
Although we are long past National Taco Day, which rolls around every year on Oct. 3, the Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau’s Agriculture in the Classroom program, in partnership with the Boone County 4-H Extension and Master Gardeners, picked tacos to be the main focus of their 2016 Boone County Ag Days.
Approximately six hundred third graders from eight different Boone County Schools attended this event at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Belvidere on April 12 and 13.
Students learned about all of the ingredients of tacos and how each and every one of them is produced on a farm.
The goal of the Terrific Taco theme was to reinforce the “Farm to Table” movement and highlight Boone County Agriculture. The teachers of these third graders received resources that can aid them while teaching about agriculture in their classrooms.
The wheat, vegetable, dairy, and beef cattle industries (According to Taco Bell’s own website, they serve an average of 295 million pounds of ground beef every year) all were taught by the 12 farmers and community members who volunteered their time to this long lasting tradition.
TacosThe event of Boone County Ag Days used to be hosted by the Farm Bureau Women’s Committee. It is thought that this program has been up and running for as long as 28 years.
“Last year as a father was picking up his third grade daughter,” Diane Cleland, Agriculture in the Classroom Coordinator, said, “he explained that he too attended ag days as a third grader. We are proud to carry on this tradition and continue to celebrate the agriculture industry of Boone County.”
Agriculture might not be the first thing you think of when you pull up to that T-Bell drive through.
However, to the hundreds of third graders who have the opportunity to experience Boone County Ag Days, it might just be the first thing on their minds now as they dig into that taco.

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