Midwest Dairy Association

September 2011 Highlights « Back

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Fuel Up to Play 60 in Iowa

Your new Health and Wellness Program Advisor in Iowa, Chris Freland, hit the ground running in the past month, presenting Fuel Up to Play 60 programming to many key school districts.  Her contacts include district-wide PE departments, school nurses, superintendents and principals who all play a role in shaping the health of young people.  Her objective is to position Fuel up to Play 60 as the premier in-school nutrition and physical activity program while making schools aware of the research and resources the dairy industry can provide.  One of the success stories she shares is from Goodrell Middle School in Des Moines, which hosted a safety walk to school with nearly 90 students last spring.  A healthy breakfast (including milk) greeted them on arrival, and the event got them excited about being active and including breakfast in their day.

Meanwhile, the Iowa Breakfast Challenge is underway!  Midwest Dairy has been working with the Iowa Department of Education on the program that encourages schools to increase school breakfast participation. All school districts in Iowa are automatically enrolled in the challenge and the goal is to increase participation by 20 percent in the 2011-12 school year. The top two districts in two size categories will receive cash prizes. Department of Education director Dr. Jason Glass has produced a video announcing the challenge and plans to use it with Iowa School administrators during their annual conference. A breakfast toolkit and a webinar series are being developed by Midwest Dairy and the Department of Education to assist schools with this challenge.

Our Back to School Back to Breakfast media campaign is in full swing, with a goal of building awareness for Fuel Up to Play 60 while encouraging activation and engagement in the program.  Your registered dietitian working in Iowa, Nikki Stahr, and one of Iowa’s local Fuel Up to Play 60 student ambassadors, Katie Foy, an eighth-grader from Waverly- Shell Rock, were interviewed on KWWL-TV in Waterloo. They featured Back to School Back to Breakfast, and how the school applied the Fuel Up to Play 60 funding to start the very popular Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie Shack that offers their students nutrient-rich breakfast every Tuesday and Thursday.

Other Iowa Updates

Our fair activities, outlined in our email last month, reflected lots of unique ways of implementing dairy promotion.  Among them was a “Together We CAN!” exhibit showcasing the awe-inspiring work of Canstruction® and the American Institute of Architects (Iowa Chapter). The exhibit, sponsored in part by Midwest Dairy, drew the attention of nearly 300,000 fair-goers. The more than 11,400 food items valued at $10,000 used to create the food and farming exhibit were donated to Food Bank of Iowa Aug. 22. Cash donations from exhibit visitors totaled $6,500 (a tremendous amount when considering that for every $1 donated, food banks can distribute up to $15 worth of food to hungry Iowans). Nearly 4,200 exhibit visitors submitted registration cards with more than 2,500 asking a specific question about farming (we will answer each one!). View a photo album of “Together We CAN!” at: http://tiny.cc/eissq.

In a related effort, the Iowa Food and Family Project joined Midwest Dairy, Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds in presenting a $68,500 donation to the Iowa Food Bank Association to assist Iowans who struggle with hunger. The contribution included resources provided by Iowa dairy farmers and donations from Iowans who participated in the “Together We CAN!” Ag Cookout in Ames on July 15, and at the Iowa State Fair food and farming exhibit. If you’d like to learn more about the Food and Family Project, you can “Like” it on Facebook: www.facebook.com/foodnfamilies or follow it on Twitter at www.twitter.com/foodnfamilies.

Our sampling at the fair’s Agriculture Building also was a big hit this year.  We sampled frozen Yogurt Bites from Yoplait, key-lime favored bites that are coated with granola, a brand new item that started hitting the store shelves on August 5. The consumers were thrilled about the new product. They were so popular at Wal-Mart stores that the company didn’t ship any samples to the Minnesota State Fair because they couldn’t keep up with the store demand that was occurring in the first two weeks! Land O’ Lakes also supplied samples of great-tasting dips, cottage cheese and even their new TruMoo Chocolate Milk, which was scheduled to be on grocery store shelves on Aug. 8. The Dean Foods/Land O’Lakes milk plant in Le Mars, Iowa, is producing TruMoo for the Iowa market.

The Iowa Dairy Industry Outlook sessions continue. These meetings are designed to bring together Iowa’s dairy stakeholders to consider how we can work together as a group to better our industry in future years. Areas of focus are consumer confidence, innovation, growing the diversity of opportunities within the industry, maintaining and growing the profitability of the industry, and unifying and magnifying economic development efforts. If you have not been involved in these meetings and would like to participate you can contact usfor more information.

Our new Iowa Dairy Princess and Alternate have hit the ground running this month, attending Cattle Congress in Waterloo and the 2011 Youth Dairy Classic in West Union. We also provided them with a full orientation in our office last week.


Kent Lehs

Industry Relations Manager - Iowa


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