Dairy farmers from the northeast and across the nation were in the spotlight this week at the fourth annual GENYOUth Gala that generated nearly $2 million to benefit youth wellness through its flagship program, Fuel Up to Play 60. Dairy farmers were recognized throughout the evening, starting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell saying, “dairy farmers are the backbone of America.” DMI CEO Tom Gallagher followed and asked that the 23 dairy farmers in attendance stand to be recognized. The crowd of nearly 430, including 30 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, three NFL team owners and other leaders and influencers, including journalist Katie Couric and famed chef, author and TV personality Carla Hall, gave a round of applause for the dairy farmers!
The Gala brought other people’s money to the table to support our children’s health and wellness priorities in schools. This is a good thing for dairy farmers.
A video played featuring New York dairy farmer and National Dairy Council Chair Audrey Donahoe speaking about the value of Fuel Up to Play 60 (around time code :26).
ADA North East farmers who attended were: Tom and Elizabeth Barley of Star Rock Farms, Conestoga, Pa.; Patty Bikowsky of Sweet Meadows Farm, Madison, N.Y.; Kris Brock of Unc Brock Inc., Schaghticoke, N.Y.; Barb Hanselman of Del-Rose Farm, Bloomville, N.Y.; Jennifer Heltzel of Piney Mar Farm, Martinsburg, Pa.; Audrey Donahoe, Clayville, N.Y., and Marilyn Hershey of Ar-Joy Farms, Cochranville, Pa.
“The Gala once again showed how much we all have in common when it comes to driving health and wellness priorities in schools. The opportunity for farmers and major business leaders and influencers to network and align on our shared values is critical to our continued success, and we’re thankful to GENYOUth for making it happen.” – Marilyn Hershey, Cochranville, Pa.
Fuel Up to Play 60 was developed by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League 10 years ago to promote physical activity, healthy eating and leadership development. More than 11,000 schools are active in the program in the ADA North East region, and more than 38 million students are impacted daily nationwide.
FUTP60 serves as a gateway to our in-school breakfast programs and through grants from GENYOUth, many grab-and-go breakfast carts have been placed in our territory. Nationally, nearly three million additional students participate in school breakfast programs since 2010.
The funds will provide grab-and-go breakfast carts (each meal includes servings of milk/dairy) to help tackle food insecurity in high-need school communities. Grab-and-Go carts are a proven solution in overcoming barriers, including stigma associated with breakfast in the cafeteria and bussing schedules, by moving breakfast outside of the cafeteria where students can literally “grab and go.”
“I was so invigorated by the evening – knowing that all the guests are very invested in getting good nutrition that includes milk and dairy to youth, giving them access to exercise, and partnering them with mentors that encourage and inspire them.” – Barb Hanselman, Bloomville, N.Y.
Themed “Rise by Lifting Others,” the event was made possible through generous commitment of corporate partners Corteva Agriscience, UnitedHealthCare, Alight Solutions and TD Ameritrade.
The organization’s top award, the Vanguard Award, was presented to Kevin Warren, Commissioner-Elect of the Big Ten Conference and former Chief Operations Officer for the Minnesota Vikings.
About American Dairy Association North East
American Dairy Association North East (ADA North East) is the dairy farmer-funded organization funded by participating dairy farmer’s checkoff investment to build demand and sales for milk and dairy foods throughout the local region. Representing more than 10,000 dairy farm families in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and northern Virginia, ADA North East develops and implements local programs to drive milk and dairy sales at retail outlets and in schools. The organization also conducts consumer education about dairy through events, traditional and social media, and in collaboration with health professionals through National Dairy Council®. ADA North East works closely with Dairy Management Inc.™, the national dairy checkoff organization, to support nutrition research, national partnerships and developing export markets for dairy to bring a fully integrated promotion program to the region. For more information, visit www.AmericanDairy.com.