Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dairy Farmers and the NFL sponsor Fuel Up to Play 60

Last week, I joined 150 school staff, teachers and administrators at a Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60) program advisor training camp at the Cleveland Browns stadium. The purpose of the training is to motivate and teach program advisors how to empower students to make a difference in their school with FUTP60.
Fuel Up to Play 60 is a school-based program encouraging students to eat healthy and be active. It’s sponsored by U.S. dairy farmers and the National Football League. Both groups share values of promoting health and wellness. The goal is teaching children good eating and exercise habits that will last a lifetime.

Currently, FUTP60 has been adopted in 73,000 schools, reaching more than 11 million students nationwide. Since the program began in 2010, over 260 Ohio and West Virginia schools have received $795,000 in FUTP60 grants to make sustainable changes in their schools. Grants were used to acquire equipment such as milk vending machines, mobile breakfast and after school snack carts, and student activity stations. 

I had the opportunity to represent Ohio dairy farmers at this event. Dairy farmers invest $.10 per every 100 pounds of milk to a state check off program. A portion of these funds support FUTP60. Dairy products are a nutritious part of a healthy diet. It’s important to share this message with school and nutrition professionals. 
Me addressing the group
Dr. Mike Thompson kicked off the session with some words of wisdom. He spoke about the importance of character, making good decisions and being responsible. Two simple messages that stuck in my mind; 1) Healthy In, Healthy Out, and 2) Good Choice, Poor Choice, My Choice. He inspired us to be optimistic and focus on the future to make a difference.

The first half of our session was in Brownstown inside the stadium

Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns left tackle, addressed the group. He’s a strong role model for students and adults. Joe has played in 104 consecutive games for the Browns. His positive attitude and commitment to what he does is great motivation for everyone! When asked how he stays in shape and avoids injury, he shared that he eats healthy foods, stretches well before practice and games to maintain flexibility and regularly soaks in an ice bath to sooth his muscles.

Joe Thomas, me & Scott Higgins (CEO, ADA Mideast)
Joe lead us onto the Browns field where we participated in some physical activity; doing the cupid shuffle dance. It was fun!

On the field getting ready for the cupid shuffle
Chomps, Cleveland Browns Mascot, joined in the fun
After a delicious lunch, teachers, staff and students representing several schools in Ohio presented explaining how they use FUTP60 funds to promote healthy eating and physical activity. Because we as dairy producers invest in this program, it was great to hear how it’s being implemented in schools. I was impressed by the student involvement and creativity of the programming. Thanks to the schools who are participating in FUTP60!

Did I mention that it was really cool being at the Cleveland Browns Stadium?

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