SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Dairy farmer and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program board member Marie Canon from West Middlesex, Pa., recently welcomed Fuel Up to Play 60 students from across the region to her farm in a live virtual visit, hosted by American Dairy Association North East.
Canon’s tour was part of a high-energy virtual celebration to reward students for participating in Fuel Up to Play 60 from September to April. The schools that participated earned the virtual opportunity for scoring a program “touchdown” for their schools by completing all steps of the program by April 1.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is in more than 11,800 schools, reaching 6.7 million students across the six-state ADA North East region. It is the nation’s only in-school health and wellness program that was created between the National Football League and the National Dairy Council to protect the future market for milk and dairy foods by positively reframing dairy in the minds of students and their teachers and support staff.
During the tour, Canon explained how farmers take care of their cows and land to ensure high quality dairy products for students. This interaction with “Farmer Marie” helped to build trust in dairy, which opens the door for dairy farmers to work within school meal systems to implement dairy marketing strategies and secure dairy on school menus.
“It was great to show these Fuel Up to Play 60 students our family farm to help connect them with where their milk and dairy products come from, and they should be very proud of themselves and their hard work to reach the ‘Touchdown’ level,” said Canon. “As a dairy farmer, I’m proud to support a program that teaches our students how to be active and to best fuel their bodies with healthy dairy products.”
The event was emceed by former Philadelphia Eagle and dairy advocate Jason Avant and included special guests including Philadelphia Eagles mascot Swoop, former Baltimore Raven Sam Koch, and Washington Commanders dance troupe members who shared the important role dairy plays in their health to perform at a high level.
–American Dairy Association North East