Do you know how many dairy farms there are in the United States? How many are in your state or region? Every state has farms and farmland, and the farmers who work that land provide nutritious low-fat and fat-free dairy foods and fruits, vegetables and whole grains that keep students healthy and strong. And did you know America's dairy farmers launched Fuel Up to Play 60 with the NFL and with support from USDA to help make healthy changes in your school?
Work with students to learn about the farms and farmers in your area or region. Help students learn more about healthy eating and the nutrients that fresh foods provide by organizing awareness events highlighting where these foods come from, why they are healthy choices and how the farming industry helps take care of the land.
Host an assembly and invite a dairy farmer to talk about the work they do to produce nutrient-rich foods your students are learning to choose. Share with them the work you are doing through Fuel Up to Play 60. Include your school nutrition professionals to talk with students about the nutritious benefits of the farmed foods. Consider visiting a farm to learn about how farms support efforts to promote healthy eating in your community. To invite a farmer to your school event, go to the Dairy Council Locator found in the footer of FuelUpToPlay60.com. Locate your state or regional Dairy Council to contact the Dairy Promotion Office. They are your best source for information regarding local farmers and dairy producers who work with local schools and they will discuss with you the options available in your area.
- Host a "Farm to School” snack table during the assembly, and then regularly in the cafeteria, to offer taste tests of the various foods produced by farmers, including fresh dairy foods such as low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt, and seasonal fruits and vegetables that might be unfamiliar to students. As students sample each food, talk about the nutrients they are providing their bodies and how farmers work to provide those health benefits.
- Prior to the assembly, ask a parent or group of volunteers to visit local farms and take pictures to create a photo frame slide show that can be shown in the cafeteria service line. Include pictures of fresh dairy foods and seasonal fruits and vegetables along with photos of the farm and people working to produce food.
- Have students create "Farms Deliver" posters and/or videos highlighting the role that farmers play in helping your school and community stay healthy. Have students include special messages highlighting the new foods they have discovered through the taste tests and farmer visits. Have them share the posters with their families, media, local restaurants, and on the school or district website to encourage consumption of those foods at home.
- Consider sending the posters or videos to dairy farmers in your state or region and include “thank you” messages about providing funding for Fuel Up to Play 60, for providing healthy foods and for their commitment to environmental stewardship. Use the From Our Teammates resources below to help students find information they can use.