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Dairy promotion events highlight school wellness, education and food security

Progressive Dairy Editor Dave Natzke Published on 31 July 2019
great dairy adventure

From school wellness to food security, the summer of 2019 has been filled with activities and events designed to educate and serve others, while promoting dairy. Here’s a look at a just a few.

Fuel Up to Play 60 celebrates 10th anniversary

Fuel Up to Play 60, a program created by the dairy checkoff and National Football League (NFL) to improve health and wellness in schools, celebrated its 10-year anniversary at its annual Student Ambassador Summit, July 16-19, in Cleveland Ohio.

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The summit brought together 264 students and 124 educators from 45 states and included a celebration at FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns. Other activities included tours of two Ohio dairy farms and a panel discussion to help helped deepen attendees’ knowledge of agriculture and the source of food.

Thirty sponsors and partners covered 100% of the summit’s expenses, and American Dairy Association Mideast assisted with the event’s planning and logistics.

brenda hastings

Since its launch, Fuel Up to Play 60 has gained access to 73,000 schools across the U.S., reaching about 38 million students. The program has awarded more than $48 million in grants, helping implement school wellness programs and leading to an additional 1.2 billion pounds of milk used at schools since 2010.

GENYOUth, a checkoff-created organization that has Fuel Up to Play 60 as its flagship program, has also generated funds that place breakfast carts in schools. With financial contributions from private businesses, carts have been installed in more than 200 schools over the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. The carts provide breakfast to about 70,000 students daily, serving an estimated 5.8 million pounds of milk annually.

mootilda

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More than 2,000 visit Great Dairy Adventure

More than 2,000 people had fun learning how milk travels from the farm to their table at The Great Dairy Adventure, July 17, at the Michigan State University (MSU) Pavilion, Okemos, Michigan.

Families, children on field trips from daycare centers and summer camps, and the general public had the opportunity to milk a cow, create art projects and enjoy free dairy treats while learning about the nutritional importance of dairy in their diet.

Michigan dairy farmers and dairy community members who hosted the event also shared details of how they care for cows, what they love about dairy farming and answered questions about dairy farms and milk. New this year was an “ask a farmer” booth where attendees could talk directly to Michigan farmers.

The event was hosted by MSU’s Department of Animal Science and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM), the umbrella organization for the Dairy Council of Michigan and the American Dairy Association of Michigan.

dairy west milk truck

Dairy West truck donation helps The Idaho Foodbank bridge milk gap

Dairy West, a regional dairy checkoff-funded organization representing Idaho and Utah dairy farmers, recently donated a new refrigerated truck to The Idaho Foodbank to increase the nonprofit's ability to safely store milk and other perishable food products and deliver them to food pantries.

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Adorned with a vehicle wrap that proclaims, "Feeding Families – Building Healthy Communities," the 26-foot 2020 Kenworth T370 refrigerated truck cost $115,000 and can store roughly 1,800 gallons of fresh milk.

Meanwhile, Albertsons customers donated $20,866.79 to benefit The Idaho Foodbank and its clients via a "Moo Bucks" campaign the retailer staged with Dairy West the first two weeks of June. The food bank will use the funds to purchase and distribute dairy foods to clients and give them vouchers to redeem for milk.

The Idaho Foodbank distributes food through a network of more than 400 community-based partners, including schools, pantries, senior centers, feeding sites and shelters. According to Karen Vauk, the organization’s president and CEO, dairy foods are among the most requested but least available items at food pantries nationwide.

Dairy West CEO Karianne Fallow says the milk gap in the U.S. is significant and daunting, with people served by food banks receiving the equivalent of less than 1 gallon of milk per person per year.

Fallow says Idaho dairy farm families have worked closely with local food pantries for decades to provide their food-insecure neighbors with nourishment they desperately need. And since 1998, Dairy West and its predecessor, United Dairymen of Idaho, have supported The Idaho Foodbank with cash contributions.

Dairy West is a regional dairy promotion organization established in 2017 to represent dairy farmers, processors and supply chain partners in Idaho and Utah.  end mark

PHOTO 1: Children at the Great Dairy Adventure learned about what cows eat. Families, children on field trips from daycare centers and summer camps, and the general public had the opportunity to milk a cow, create art projects and enjoy free dairy treats. Photo courtesy of United Dairy Industry of Michigan.

PHOTO 2: Ohio dairy farmer Brenda Hastings answers a question from a student visiting her dairy farm as part of the Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Summit. Photo courtesy of Dairy Management Inc.

PHOTO 3: Mootilda, UDIM mascot, was at the Great Dairy Adventure to greet guests. More than 2,000 people attended the annual event. Photo courtesy of United Dairy Industry of Michigan.

PHOTO 4: Dairy West recently donated a new refrigerated truck to The Idaho Foodbank to increase the nonprofit's ability to safely store milk and other perishable food products and deliver them to food pantries throughout Idaho. From left to right are: Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Council lead recruitment coordinator Emily Blackmer; Meridian dairy farmer Clint Jackson of Jackson Family Farm; Kuna dairy farmer John Wind of Liberty Ranch, Gooding; dairy farmer and artisan cheesemaker Steve Ballard of Ballard Family Dairy & Cheese; The Idaho Foodbank President and CEO Karen Vauk; The Idaho Foodbank chief development officer Morgan Wilson; and Albertsons spokesperson Kathy Holland. Photo courtesy of Dairy West.

Dave Natzke
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