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Checkoff Watch: Bringing Fuel Up to Play 60 to the e-learning world

Anne Warden for Progressive Dairy Published on 01 October 2020
Rosemarie Burgos Zimbelman

Yes, these are extraordinary times, and your dairy promotion checkoff is working in even more urgent ways to keep your milk moving and provide nutritious foods to families everywhere.

When the pandemic came on strong this spring, your checkoff – staffs from across the country and around the world, all overseen by dairy farmer and importer boards – changed how we worked to quickly serve the needs of a new world.

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The disruption caused a monumental shift: in consumer behavior and lifestyles, the roles of brands and industry, the demands on both commercial and institutional channels, and the supply chains that take your products to market.

Since 1983, your checkoff’s mission has remained the same: Build demand and trust in dairy. What has changed is how we do that in a rapidly changing environment.

Evolving dairy’s role in schools

The new school year has started in a variety of different formats given the pandemic, with many students learning from home or in socially distant settings. But one thing that hasn’t changed is dairy farmers’ commitment to kids through Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60).

FUTP 60 helps build stronger kids and communities by providing access to nutritious foods (including dairy) and physical activity, whether that’s in school, at home or somewhere else. Your local promotion checkoff organizations are key to the success of this unique program, which reaches 73,000-plus schools.

The checkoff has supported kids, families, educators and communities wherever they are for decades. That’s what dairy farmers do.

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This fall, our mission is no different, but we’ve adapted our efforts to fit this new normal – to reach even more educators, students and now parents adapting to e-learning – to offer resources that continue to cement dairy’s essential role in the home.

‘Homeroom’ resources

This school year, we’re declaring Thursdays as a time for dairy, families and football. To help support educators and parents this fall, we have reinvented Fuel Up to Play 60 for e-learning by launching the Fuel Up to Play 60 Homeroom.

The Homeroom is an entertaining and informative Google-based resource to engage students around important topics such as health and wellness, mindfulness and what’s happening on the farm, all starring dairy farmers, NFL players, students and more.

The Homeroom will be updated with new content every Thursday in a collaborative effort with your local dairy promotion groups, the checkoff-created GENYOUth program and others around the dairy community. We’ll showcase educational resources highlighting what dairy farms look like and how eating right and exercising is critical to maintaining overall wellness.

The platform builds on FUTP 60’s in-school legacy while also evolving to meet new needs. With the new Google platform and via promotional support from partners like the NFL and Discovery Education, we’ll extend FUTP 60’s reach into homes and directly reach a new set of educators, parents and youth.

As you’ve seen over the last six months, your checkoff is working hard to pivot during these unforeseen times, staying true to our mission to move more milk and build trust for dairy. With the home now serving as the central place for work, school and for entertainment, we will continue to reinforce the essential role dairy plays in helping families navigate the new normal. And we will further showcase farmers’ commitment to veterans and communities in the months ahead.

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We look forward to updating you on our efforts and demonstrating the value of your dairy promotion checkoff as we move forward.  end mark

To learn more about your national dairy checkoff, visit U.S. Dairy or send a request to join our Dairy Checkoff Farmer Group on Facebook. To reach us directly, send an email to Talk to Checkoff.

Your Dairy Checkoff in Action – The following update is provided by Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), which manages the national dairy checkoff program on behalf of America’s dairy farmers and dairy importers. DMI is the domestic and international planning and management organization responsible for increasing sales of and demand for dairy products and ingredients.

Anne Warden
  • Anne Warden

  • EVP, Strategic Integration
  • Dairy Management Inc.

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