Top 10 Memories from 2011

We had another busy year and made many memories.  It’s tough to choose just 10; but here, in no particular order, is my top 10 list:

Celebrating 80 years of nutrition education in Indiana through our Dairy Council.  Indiana dairy farmers are long time supporters of nutrition research and education for the health of Hoosiers.

Dining at the home of Jim Irsay!  We partner with the Colts to bring improved nutrition and fitness experiences to Indiana school students.  That partnership yielded an invitation that I was thrilled to accept and gave me a rare opportunity to chat with Mr. Irsay about our Fuel Up to Play 60 program.

Celebrating 100 years of Indy car racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Indiana dairy farmers and the racing fraternity have a special bond:  milk.  We produce it.  They drink it to celebrate winning the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.  That’s why, in Indiana, we know that Winners drink milk!®

Helping our two dairy farmer milkmen get ready to present the famous bottle of milk in Victory Circle following the Indianapolis 500.  This year I was very close to the action!  How exciting!

Attending our annual Dairy Summit.  More than 250 registered dietitians and school nutrition professionals came to the conference to learn from experts about the new dietary guidelines, the benefits of flavored milk at school and chocolate milk as a sports recovery drink.

Visiting several dairy farms during the Kentuckiana Dairy Exchange in Indiana.  Each year, dairy farmers from Kentucky and Indiana get together to tour farms and swap ideas.  We have a varied and vibrant dairy industry in Indiana and it was great to spend some time on several fascinating farms.

Watching Diane Ruyack receive her 35-year service award at our annual meeting.  I’ve had the privilege to work with Diane for many years and was so grateful to see her be recognized for a long career sharing the good nutrition news about dairy products on behalf of Indiana’s dairy farmers.

Unveiling the cheese sculpture at the Indiana State Fair.  For several years, we’ve brought Sarah Kaufmann, cheese sculptor, to our great state fair to create a work of art from huge blocks of cheese delighting thousands of fair-goers!

Hosting Dairy Day at Victory Field.  We entertained Indiana dairy farmers at the beautiful ball park in June.  It was a great time for visiting and showcasing dairy at the ball game.

Announcing that 2012 is the Year of Dairy Cows at the Indiana State Fair!

Fuel Up to Play 60

By Diane Ruyack

Nicholson Elementary School has been participating in NFL’s and National Dairy Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60) program all school year.  The students have had challenges built around the Colts’ football season and Indiana basketball’s “March Madness.”  The goal of the FUTP 60 partnership is to encourage children to be physically active and to eat nutritious food, such as dairy products, whole-grains, and fruits and vegetables.

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The Many Faces of Nutrition

Over 200 Registered Dietitians and Food Service Directors attended the Indiana Dairy and Nutrition Council’s Annual Summit – “The Many Faces of Nutrition” – at the Colt’s Complex on February 22. It was a packed day of great information. The Dairy and

Nutrition Council of Indiana (DNCI) has been providing nutrition and wellness education for 80 years. Some of the comments the guests had were: “Whatever the topic the DNCI presents I always benefit!” and “This day was full of nutritional information and fun.”

There were five speakers on the agenda. Dr. Robert Murray was the first speaker up who is a professor of Pediatrics and Pediatric GI

Dr. Robert Murray spoke on the new Dietary Guidelines at the DNCI Summit.

 and Nutrition at the Ohio State University. He presented on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and quality nutrition.    To get an understanding of what MyPyramid represents, you may want to become familiar with what the 2005 Dietary Guidelines emphasize. Nutrient-dense foods provide substantial amounts of vitamins and minerals and relatively fewer calories. These foods will be found in the wide bottom of each color band on the pyramid. He focused his talk on how children AND adults need to think about the nutrients in food we need to consume, for example, calcium, Vitamin D, protein and potassium.  They should not focus solely on the contents of food to avoid.

Next up on the list of speakers was Doug Adams who is the President of Prime Consulting Group. He has over thirty years of sales, research and management consulting experience in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry.  He spoke on the importance of offering flavored milk in schools to children by discussing a recent study.  The study revealed that eliminating chocolate and other flavored milks from school cafeteria menus resulted in a dramatic drop in milk consumption along with a substantial reduction in nutrients—which are not easy or affordable to replace.

Jenni Purcell RD, the Director of Communications for the Dairy and Nutrition Council, presented ways to connect with your local media and the importance of social media to get out your nutritional message. Diane Ruyack, RD, the Director of Nutrition Programs for the Dairy and Nutrition Council, presented on Fuel up to Play 60. Fuel up To Play 60 is a nationwide movement focused on fighting childhood obesity by empowering kids to take control of their own health. Find out more by visiting

Last but not least, Erika Whitman spoke who is a registered dietitian and is currently the sports nutritionist at the University of Notre Dame. She discussed using chocolate milk as a refueling agent after exercise. Emerging research shows milk may be as or more effective than other post-exercise beverages to help the body recover. Milk has a powerful nutrient package that supplies the

The Dairy and Nutrition Council is celebrating 80 years of nutrition education this year.

nutrition the body needs after exercise. White and chocolate milk provides 9 essential nutrients for athletes. Milk is a source of complete, high-quality protein that can help reduce muscle breakdown and stimulate repair and growth after exercise.

There was even a surprise appearance by Buttercup, DNCI’s mascot, who brought a cake to help celebrate the day and 80 years of nutrition education.  (Buttercup was escorted by Mary Nicolson.)

Fuel Up to Play 60 also returns with a new association

By Mary Nicholson

Happy New Year!  We’ve heard that a lot in the first few days of 2011, and what a great time to look at the year ahead with renewed vigor!  But first – a few activities that happened in December!

Checks were presented to several Indianapolis area schools who applied for funding through Fuel Up to Play 60.  Rosa Parks-Edison Elementary, Greenbriar Elementary, Decatur Middle School, and Garden City Elementary all received visits from Dairy & Nutrition Council staff during December.   There are other schools in Indiana that applied for and received Fuel Up to Play 60 funding, but we weren’t able to visit them.  More to come in January 2011!

Fuel Up to Play 60 also returns with a new association.  Working with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) Fuel Up to Play 60 can help students meet the “Million PALA Challenge” – that is, one million youth completing the requirements to earn a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award Challenge certificate by September 2011. (Students must complete 60 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week for 6 weeks).  Find out more at:  Sixty minutes of physical activity may sound like a big chunk of time, but it doesn’t have to be.  Activities done during the day all add up!  And the activities don’t have to complicated or highly organized.  Sure, if team sports at school is available and of interest, that’s great!  But if that doesn’t fit your style, there are a lot of things you can do throughout the day to get moving.  Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Take your dog for a walk (this would assume you have a dog)
  • See how many jumping jacks you can do, or how far you can skip, or how long you can hoola-hoop.
  • Start a neighborhood game of tag or kickball
  • Race a friend to the end of the block and back
  • If you live where there’s snow, build a snowman
  • Help your parents with yard work
  • If you live in a house or apartment building with stairs, see how many times you can go up and down the stairs before you get winded; see if you can do more the next time!

Being active doesn’t have to be difficult or use special or expensive equipment.  It’s more of a mindset to get up and move around – sweat a little!

Fuel Up To Play 60 Students Got Game

By: Mary Nicholson

Fuel Up to Play 60, the school wellness program developed by the National Dairy Council and the NFL, is making strides to help students improve their schools’ nutrition and physical activity environment.  Fueling up with nutrient-rich foods, such as fat-free and low-fat milk and other dairy products, whole grains, fruits and vegetables in order to be able to “play” for at least 60 minutes a day is the basis of the program.

There are other fine programs that also address the issue of childhood obesity.  What makes Fuel Up to Play 60 unique is that it is available all across the United States and it also involves all 32 NFL teams!  In Indiana the Colts have partnered with us to make available to middle schools a new program:  “Fuel Up to Play 60 presented by Blue”.  Blue reiterates the key messages of making healthy food choices and being active for 60 minutes a day in his own fun way with the help of his assistant, Kat.  Several Colts players, cheerleaders, and even Coach Caldwell make an appearance via video clips.

Ten Indiana students who are involved in Fuel Up to Play 60 at their schools got a chance to attend the Sunday night Colts vs Chargers game and even had the opportunity to watch the teams warm up on the sidelines before the game.  They were also introduced to everyone at Lucas Oil Stadium and were shown on the big screens at the stadium.  As the players entered the field for introductions, the Fuel Up to Play 60 students got to cheer them on right next to the Colts Cheerleaders.  What a night it was for those students!

Funding is once again available to Fuel Up to Play 60 schools to help them implement the changes for improved nutrition and more opportunities for physical activity for all students.  Some great things are happening in Indiana’s schools!

Calling All Football Fans!! Pig Skin Potatoes

It’s that time of year again!  Here is a great recipe for all those game day parties! This recipe is sure to be a hit!
Pig Skin Potatoes

  • 8 (8-ounce) medium baking potatoes
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped roasted chicken
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) freshly shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar or
  • Pepper Jack cheese, divided
  • 1-2 canned chipotle peppers, minced plus 1 tablespoon liquid from can
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives

Prick potatoes with a fork. Bake for 1 hour at 425°. Let cool slightly.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp for other desired use, leaving a 1/2-inch shell. Place potato shells on a baking sheet; spray inside of shells with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until crisp.

Combine chicken, 1 cup cheese, chipotle pepper and liquid, taco seasoning and sour cream; divide evenly among potato shells. Bake at 425° for 5 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with chives.

Note: For fans desiring a less spicy ‘skin, use one chipotle pepper and substitute water for the liquid from the can.

Recipe courtesy of 3-Every-Day™ of Dairy

Makes 8 Servings
Prep Time: 95 min
Cook Time: 10 min

Nutritional Facts
Calories: 270
Total Fat: 9 g
Saturated Fat: 6 g
Cholesterol: 55 mg
Sodium: 430 mg
Calcium: 25% Daily Value
Protein: 21 g
Carbohydrates: 26 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g

Back to Football Friday “Show Your Pride” Photo Contest

Ever worn your favorite NFL jersey to the barn? Have a unique idea for your cows to show your NFL spirit? Here’s an opportunity to combine your dairy and NFL enthusiasm and creativity on camera!  The NFL is asking sponsors and partners such as America’s dairy producers to help kick off its “Back to Football Friday” school campaign and build excitement for the upcoming season. Through your dairy checkoff investment, your partnership with the National Football League introduced the Fuel Up to Play 60 program to America’s youth. FUTP60 encourages kids to “fuel up” on nutrient-rich foods, including low-fat and fat-free dairy, and get 60 minutes of physical activity each day.

So, as a dairy producer, you and your family are invited to participate in the “Back to Football Friday” photo contest by demonstrating your love for your favorite NFL team, the dairy industry and Fuel Up to Play 60 in fun and creative ways. For the contest, we’re asking you, checkoff staff and others who work with us to take high‐energy, creative photos displaying that pride, so we can submit as many as possible to the NFL.  It’s that easy! And if you’re the lucky winner, you will have a special visitor to your dairy farm – an NFL player!

Here are some suggestions on your photo(s) to get you started:

  • BE CREATIVE! Use NFL jerseys, t‐shirts, flags, caps, blankets, posters, anything NFL or team‐related to dress up the scene, yourselves, your family, your friends, your cows – go hog (cow?) wild!
  • BE ENERGETIC! Show action and passion for our NFL partnership and Fuel Up to Play 60!
  • BE APPROPRIATE! Don’t put on film anything that you wouldn’t want to get out in public, because we may use some of the photos at dairy shows and meetings to help celebrate our partnership. Let’s not have anything we need to apologize for!

There are three ways to send us your photo(s) demonstrating your pride, and be sure to include your contact information when you submit your entries.

  1. Upload your photo(s) to
  2. E‐mail your photo(s) to
  3. Mail your photo(s) to: Dairy Management, Inc. (Attn: Nevenka Tomic, 10255 West Higgins Road, Suite 900, Rosemont, IL 60018)

If you have any questions, please contact Nevenka Tomic at (800) 85‐DAIRY (853‐2479) or You can start submitting photos now.* The deadline to enter is Sept. 14. Good luck, have fun and let’s show the NFL that dairy people are winners!

*Full photo contest disclaimer (rules & regulations) can be found at Participants must agree to conditions in disclaimer in order to participate in the contest. We will mail the disclaimer to you upon request.