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Fuel Up to Play 60 zone

Progressive Dairyman Editor Audrey Schmitz Published on 07 February 2018

In a meeting of football and farming, Minnesota dairy farmers from across the state served as ambassadors at Midwest Dairy’s Fuel Up to Play 60 booth. All week long, more than 60 dairy farmers shared their stories at the 2018 Super Bowl Experience event from Jan. 27 to Feb. 3 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. 

While there, Minnesota dairy farmers talked with thousands of event-goers from across the country about dairy farming and encouraged guests to get involved with the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. Part of the program events each day was hosting a Skills and Drills clinic on an actual field in the Kids’ Zone. There, both a Minnesota dairy farmer and NFL player shared his or her own story with children attending the clinic. 

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“It was a great complimentary message talking about the nutritious foods that come from cow’s milk such as cheese, yogurt, ice cream and fluid milk,” said Lucas Lentsch, CEO of Midwest Dairy. “That messaging really resonated with the kids because they then got to hear the NFL player share his story and how he used milk and dairy foods to build a strong body.

“Children are really inquisitive about learning where their food comes from. The first five questions from the audience of young people was directed at the dairy farmer, asking more clarifying questions about the farm,” Lentsch said. “Having the celebrity status of a NFL football player right alongside the celebrity status of the dairy farmer was awesome to watch and witness firsthand.”

Another highlight feature at the booth was a virtual reality game where consumers and kids got a firsthand look at a dairy farm modeled after the Heintz Badger Valley Farm in Caledonia, Minnesota. The virtual reality goggles allow players to have an interactive experience to pull roofs off of barns and look inside, as well as experience a NFL locker room and throw footballs. At the booth, event-goers also had the opportunity to meet current and retired NFL players who stopped by the Fuel Up to Play 60 booth throughout the week. 

“It has been fun for me to look at guests’ faces when they have a real dairy farmer handing them a cheese snack and welcoming them to the Fuel Up to Play 60 booth, as well as having NFL players stop by and pose for pictures,” Lentsch said. “That is why it is important for farmers to be engaging consumers in unexpected places.”

The Fuel Up to Play 60 program encourages students across the country to eat healthy and get active for 60 minutes a day. It is the nation’s largest in-school wellness program and was created in partnership by the NFL, National Dairy Council and USDA.

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“I couldn’t be more proud of our dairy farmers for giving their true and transparent story of who they are and what they work for,” Lentsch said. “I think that is ultimately what consumers want today is transparency in their food and transparency in the relationships of people who bring them that food.”  end mark

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