Dairy farmers Caleb and Alice Crothers of Rising Sun, Md., joined ADA North East and 45 school food nutrition directors from our six-state region at the checkoff-hosted School Nutrition Forum at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

The Crothers participated in a pre-event meal and tour of the stadium to help make a positive and personal connection between the dairy farmers who provide milk for school meals with those who are planning and preparing the menus. They were joined by former Philadelphia Eagle and dairy advocate Jason Avant and Eagles mascot Swoop as they toured the facility.

Caleb Crothers, also a National Dairy Board member said, “Like dairy farming, school nutrition directors face a lot of challenges in planning and preparing school meals, and it was eye-opening to learn how dairy checkoff navigates the system to ensure that dairy’s place is secure on the menus.”

The forum supported school nutrition professionals in rebuilding school meal participation by committing to adopt marketing strategies and menu enhancements that secure dairy’s place in school meals – and to secure ADA North East’s role as a partner in rebuilding school meal participation.

ADA North East Director of Consumer Confidence Beth Meyer and Syracuse-area media expert Keith Kobland conducted a media training for the group to empower them to confidently tell their stories and respond to crises through hands-on media training related to student nutrition.