SYRACUSE, N.Y. — American Dairy Association North East and New York State Dairy Ambassador Gabby Taylor are working to help students connect with dairy farmers through the New York Thursdays school nutrition program.
Foods grown and raised in New York are featured in public schools every Thursday to help students learn about local food, as part of the New York Department of Agriculture and Market’s farm-to-school program. Dairy is no exception.
“I was excited to lend my voice to the dairy videos being prepared by ADA North East to help students understand how the local milk and dairy foods served in their school meals is produced,” said Taylor. Classrooms across New York State will be invited to view the videos that will also feature Gen Z farmers, including dairy science students from Cornell University, and one of ADA North East’s National Football League (NFL) partners and dairy advocates.
“Thanks to our dairy checkoff-funded school nutrition programs and our partnership with the NFL, we have direct line into schools to showcase New York dairy farms and dairy farmers,” said ADA North East CEO Rick Naczi. “These opportunities help build trust in dairy and secure dairy’s place on school menus and therefore increase dairy sales.”
Naczi added that ADA North East’s strategic school nutrition marketing strategies are viewed as a valued resource for school nutrition directors throughout the region. “Our staff provides trainings for serving milk and dairy, menu ideas packed with dairy that fit strict nutrition requirements and budgets, and nutrition education opportunities,” he said.
Schools with the most New York Thursdays dairy video views will be entered to win prizes from ADA North East, including a virtual farm tour. Last year, more than 2,300 students earned the chance to watch the tours that were hosted by Kelly Reynolds of Reyncrest Farm, Corfu, N.Y., and Nate Chittenden of Dutch Hollow Farm, Schodack Landing, N.Y.
To watch one of last year’s New York Thursdays videos that earned students the virtual farm tours, click here. To learn more about ADA North East’s other school nutrition programs, visit AmericanDairy.com, and click on “In Schools.”
–American Dairy Association North East