This week, 255 students enrolled in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program heard from two state dairy princesses, eight dairy farmers and seven National Football League players during the virtual celebrations. Each event featured live and recorded segments and helped students make the connection between the milk and dairy foods they consume at school with the farmers who produce the products.

New York State Dairy Princess Shelby Benjamin joined Tyler Beck of Beck Farms, Freeville, N.Y.; Josh DeBoover of DeBoover Family Farms, Phelps, N.Y.; Eric Richards of Elmer Richards & Sons Dairy, Skaneateles, N.Y.; and Hannah Wood of H. Wood Farms, Clayton, N.Y.

Pennsylvania Dairy Princess Gabrielle Swavely joined Ed Facer of Star Rock Dairy, Conestoga, Pa.; Matt Hoff of Coldsprings Farm, New Windsor, Md.; Austin Schwartzbeck of Peace & Plenty Farm, Union Bridge, Md.; and Thad Sturgeon of Camp Run Farm, Fombell, Pa.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is the in-school wellness program — a partnership with the National Dairy Council and the National Football League — that reminds students to “fuel up” with milk and dairy foods and to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. The program opens the door for dairy farmers to work within school meal systems to implement dairy marketing programs.

The 255 participating students and 30 teachers from 19 school districts across the region reached “Touchdown Status,” qualifying them to participate in the hour-long virtual program. Schools score a touchdown by completing all three steps of the program during the school year.

Participating in the events also benefited the farmers by increasing their awareness and understanding of the value of the FUTP60 program and partnership with the NFL.