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Checkoff Watch: National Dairy Council partners help spread dairy’s great nutrition message

Jean Ragalie-Carr for Progressive Dairyman Published on 29 September 2017

For more than a century, on behalf of dairy farmers and the dairy community, the National Dairy Council (NDC) has been committed to nutrition research and education. It has supported groundbreaking scientific research, including E.V. McCollum’s, who first made the scientific connection between dairy foods and good health in 1917.

NDC continues to provide science-based education about the nutrition and health benefits dairy foods provide and helps connect people to hard-working dairy farm families. Like our farmers, the checkoff-funded NDC aims to help foster healthy products, healthy people and a healthy planet.



Comprised of registered dietitians and nutrition research and communication experts across the country, NDC has played a part in the launch of pioneering programs, based on sound science, that have benefited generations of children and adults – including dairy farmers.

Today, NDC carries on that tradition through our continued focus on dairy’s contributions to health, wellness and sustainable food systems as well as by partnering with organizations that want to join our mission to bring to life the dairy community’s vision of a healthy, joyful and sustainable world.

Turning science into positive change

Sharing science and insights as part of NDC’s collaboration with partners to accomplish shared goals to improve health and well-being has helped gain momentum for programs such as Fuel Up to Play 60 and the Great American Milk Drive as well as advance the conversation about dairy’s role in sustainable food systems.

Additionally, having dialogue around emerging science, such as on the role of dairy foods and health – regardless of fat level – also helps grow understanding and acknowledgement for how whole-milk dairy foods can fit within an overall balanced diet.

Significant among these partners are the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the School Nutrition Association, which represent some of the leading voices for sensible health and wellness advice to consumers, including dairy’s contributions to a nutritious diet and overall well-being.


For instance, these partners understand the science on the role of low-fat and fat-free flavored milk, not only in nourishing children but also improving their experience with milk, which helps children become lifelong dairy consumers, and “dairy-first solutions,” like lactose-free cow’s milk, as an approach to lactose intolerance, which helps people of all ages.

The academy has taken an interest in NDC’s sustainable nutrition efforts and has educated thousands of registered dietitian nutritionists on the future of food, including food waste, safety of food additives and modern farming practices.

The American Academy of Pediatrics uses NDC’s resources and has issued position papers reinforcing dairy’s contributions to child growth and development. The School Nutrition Association has been an important partner in getting more students involved in Fuel Up to Play 60, a partnership between NDC and the NFL that is the country’s largest in-school health and wellness initiative.

All three partners are members of NDC’s Health and Wellness Advisory Council, along with 20 other prominent organizations. NDC educates council members on the state of dairy nutrition science and helps them understand the life cycle of dairy foods from farm to table, including the realities of responsible dairy farming. Through discussion, these experts help guide NDC in future strategies and often collaborate to reach shared goals with shared resources to make meaningful projects happen, supplementing dairy farmer investment.

That’s Undeniably Dairy

Partners help NDC spread the word about, and increase the acceptance of, checkoff-funded dairy research, which is a vital piece of the industry-wide Undeniably Dairy consumer confidence initiative.

You can find a local promotion organization to learn more about all the ways the dairy checkoff is bringing value online (Dairy Management Inc). end mark


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 producers 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.