Cattle Ranch Riddle Challenge

Cattle Ranch Riddle

August 15 – November 1, 2018

Current Challenge: Cattle Ranch Riddle

People around the world consume beef, in particular in the United States. Every day, cattle ranching families are trying to raise a healthy and safe product, while at the same time, maintaining a profitable business and being stewards of natural resources, like water and soil. How will you construct a model of a cattle ranch that addresses these concerns?


Your prototype must address the following needs:

  • Production as well as economic, environmental, and societal needs


Success will be determined by

  • Construction of a model of a cattle ranch (either cow-calf or stocker/backgrounder) that addresses best practices in the following areas:
    • Beef cattle health / welfare
    • Land and environmental management
    • Beef cattle nutrition
    • Costs of production
  • Grazing plan
  • Producing and sharing a presentation that communicates knowledge gained
  • Sharing progress and results on social media by tagging @ThePurplePlow

Participation Rules

Eligibility: Individuals, groups, and classes in grades 5 through 12 are eligible to enter the challenge competition.

What to Submit: For each team, you must submit the following:

  • Completed student reflection sheet.
  • Screenshot or link to student social media post or presentation.
  • Be sure to include #PurplePlow in your post.

There is no limit to the number of teams you may submit.

Deadline: Challenges will be run seasonally.  For the current challenge, entries must be submitted by the date listed above under the challenge title.  To submit your entry, use the Submit button on the Challenge page.

Prizes: The top three entries will win a 3D printer and a Visa gift card to help you buy supplies for your next Purple Plow Challenge! Medals will be awarded to the winning team members as well. You must apply by the challenge deadline to qualify.

Important Privacy Information

This experience is designed for kids, but must be submitted by an adult over the age of 13. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) prevents The Purple Plow Challenge from collecting personal information online from children under age 13.

Do not include student names, school name or any other personal information in the body of the response questions. Enter school and contact information only in the specific designated areas of the form.

Do your photos need a release? Any photo that shows the face of a student or recognizable characteristics of that student requires an official AFBFA photo release form. (DOWNLOAD HERE).

Here are some tips for taking pictures that do not require a photo release:
Take pictures of

  • Student prototypes only
  • Students’ hands working on projects
  • Over-the-shoulder pictures of students working from behind.

Have you completed this challenge?

To officially enter the challenge you must click below to complete the submission form. By submitting your entry, you verify the Challenge was completed by students in grades 5-8 and that all work is original. Submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST November 1st, 2018.

General Challenge Resources

No matter which challenge you are on, a good place to get started is the Purple Plow Guide (pdf) which includes the following:

  • Tips and Tricks
  • Purple Plow Design Process
  • Purple Plow Challenge Rubric
  • Supply List and Budget
Download the Purple Plow Guide

Planning to Take the Challenge?

Let us know you plan to participate!
Click the button below and tell us about your team.

Across the Nation

Put yourself on the map! Let us know that you’re “IN” and you’ll be on the map along with other students across the nation

Get Social

See what’s being said and share your experience today on Twitter. @Mention us in your post by adding  “@PurplePlow” and add the hashtag #purpleplow