Fuel Up To Play 60!

Greg More, Fuel Up To Play 60 Student Ambassador and FUTP60 Program Advisor, Cassie Brooks, both from Brownsburg West Middle School

By Cassie Brooks, FUTP60 Program Advisor at Brownsburg West Middle School

On July 14, Greg More and I traveled to Washington, D.C. for the Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Leadership Training Summit.  We were both filled with excitement about growing our knowledge and skills for the program, and also to meet people from across the nation who share the same passion.

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Getting to know Mary Nicholson


What do you do at Indiana Dairy?

My title is Program Coordinator. I work a lot with the Fuel Up to Play 60 program which means being involved with teachers and schools.  I’m also a “liaison” to the Indiana School Nutrition Association.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I get to work with some pretty incredible people.  Every day is different, and it’s certainly not boring!  I enjoy going into a variety of schools all across the state.  I especially enjoy our Great Grow Along program, which allows me an opportunity to talk directly to students.

Tell us a little about yourself:

I grew up in southern Illinois (Centralia), the youngest of 5, and graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Food and Nutrition.  I’ve worked in institutional food service (state mental health center, hospital, and nursing home) before starting a part-time job with the National Dairy Council in Rosemont, IL, in 1988.  That lasted until our family moved to Indianapolis in December of 1998. In 2000, I started working for Indiana Dairy on a part-time basis.  Now that my two children are in college (IUPUI and Purdue), I’ve been working full time. I’ve been married for nearly 29 years (where did the time go?) to J.T.

Tell us a little about someone who has influenced your life and why?

It’s difficult to narrow this down to one person!  Either there have been a number who have influenced me or I’m easily influenced – maybe some of each.  I was definitely influenced early on by a wonderful babysitter who made the best chicken and noodles and had the best lap.  My parents laid a firm foundation while growing up, and various friends and family have had an impact since then.

Do you have a favorite recipe or restaurant to share?

Again, something else that’s difficult to narrow down to one.  If we’re talking Italian, Iaria’s is one of my favorites.  Pat Flynn’s also has awesome soups and sandwiches, plus they always include a warm cookie!


Fuel Up To Play 60 Builds Awareness

By Mary Nicholson

“We’ve had such wonderful experiences using the funds from the FUTP 60 grant.  Our chocolate milk booth was a huge success, our walking/jogging club is moving right along and so much more” says Roberta Sipe, P. E. teacher at Rosa Parks Edison Elementary in Perry Township and advisor for the National Dairy Council and NFL Fuel Up to Play 60 program. This is just one success story we have heard this past year.  Fuel Up to Play 60 helps students learn about nutrition through school-wide Healthy Eating plays as well as the importance of 60 minutes of physical activity every day.  At Rosa Parks Edison Elementary, for every mile increment, the students at Rosa Parks receive a shoe charm.  Another school that has a walking club is Ligonier Elementary.  Their staff and students have walked 62,062 miles since the fall!  For the first 50 miles, the students and staff receive a t-shirt.  After 100 miles, a sweatshirt is awarded. Once they hit 150 miles, the students are fitted with new athletic shoes.

Another continuing success story continues in Crawfordsville at Meredith Nicholson Elementary with Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor Laura Newman at the helm. With lots of fun activities going on throughout the year, Laura says the biggest change she has noticed is awareness: students are making more nutritious choices in the cafeteria line, and in P.E. class, they are discussing how they are Fueling Up.  The students are excited and highly engaged – and they want to do even more.  Laura and her students have clearly made great strides and a big difference in 2010.  Look out for more from Meredith Nicholson Elementary students in 2011! Continue reading

Fuel Up To Play 60 Huddles

New television PSA entitled “Huddle” developed by the Ad Council in collaboration with Let’s Move!, Fuel Up to Play 60, National Dairy Council, the NFL, NFL Players Association, USDA and Brunner advertising. The spot features Tony Romo, Quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, and encourages youth to get healthy and be active by joining the Fuel Up to Play 60 movement.

By Mary Nicholson

While Super Bowl XLV may be history, there was also some history being made well before the flipping of the ceremonial coin on Sunday. Some of our nation’s principal thought leaders in child health, physical activity and education converged in North Texas, site of Super Bowl XLV, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on February 4 that outlines an unprecedented private-public partnership committed to child health and wellness.

This historic agreement will bring together the National Football League, leading government authorities, National Dairy Council (NDC) and Gen YOUth Foundation, a newly formed nonprofit organization that supports efforts to end childhood obesity. MOU co-signers include U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius; NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell; NDC CEO Thomas Gallagher and Gen YOUth Foundation CEO Alexis Glick. This MOU sets a new precedent for private-public partnerships and cross-department collaboration. Continue reading

Indiana Schools & Fuel Up to Play 60 Encourage Nutrition

By Mary Nicholson

The Fuel Up to Play 60 program is up and running in more than 60,000 schools across the country.  In its third year, the program continues to grow and evolve.  Just in case you’re wondering what Fuel Up to Play 60 is, it’s a school wellness program that is a collaboration between the National Dairy Council and the National Football League.  It is designed to empower students to make changes in the nutrition environment and opportunities for physical activity in their school.

Indiana has quite a few schools involved in Fuel Up to Play 60.  Just the other night I attended a Fuel Up to Play 60 Kick-off event at Nicholson Elementary school in Crawfordsville.  It was quite an evening!  The hallways had all sorts of Fuel Up to Play 60 and Indianapolis Colts pictures, posters, and drawings.  Families checked in and then spent time in different areas of the school.  The gym had a number of stations where participants could hoola-hoop, jump rope,  and more with the assistance of several Crawfordsville High School athletes.  Outside, the Colts In Motion travelling museum was set up, and Wabash College football players were on hand to pass footballs to young receivers.  In the cafeteria, a mix-it-yourself trail mix bar was set up– complete with recipes and how-to’s.  Blue milk was available to try, and a dairy bingo game was played.

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Last Year's Cheese Sculpture at the Indiana State Fair

“Who doesn’t love cheese!?” exclaimed Sarah Kaufmann, nationally renowned cheese sculptor. “And this will be a really BIG hunk of cheese!” More than 1500 pounds of Indiana-produced mild cheddar cheese, along with a few other favorites, such as Gouda and white cheddar, will be sculpted into an amazing work of art portraying the NFL and National Dairy Council’s in-school based program, Fuel Up to Play 60. Artist Sarah Kaufmann, one of only three known cheese carvers in the US, was commissioned for the fifth consecutive year by the American Dairy Association of Indiana (ADA) to create the sculpture, entitled Fuel Up to Play 60, encouraging the availability and consumption of nutrient-rich foods, along with 60 minutes of daily physical activity for all school-aged children.

On opening day, Kaufmann will begin carving two 640-pound blocks of mild cheddar cheese from Pace Dairy in Crawfordsville, IN into an amazing work of art that will measure an estimated 7 feet wide by 3.5 feet high. In just five days, this unique masterpiece will come to life with the image of Colts mascot, Blue, and buddy playing football on the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium with a crowd cheering them on in the background.

Once completed, the sculpture will remain in a large refrigerated case at the east end of the Pioneer Our Land Pavilion. Kaufmann, known nationwide as “The Cheese Lady,” is a Wisconsin native who now resides in suburban Cincinnati. She began sculpting cheese in 1995. Among her creations are a 10-pound Mozart violin, a 120-pound Mickey Mouse, a 640-pound Green Bay Packers player, and a six-foot long University of Florida Fighting Gator. At the 2006 Indiana State Fair, she was commissioned by ADA to create her largest sculpture ever: a 2334-pound work that depicted the fair’s rich 4-H and agricultural heritage in honor of the event’s 150th anniversary.

In 2007, Sarah created a sculpture celebrating the Indy 500 Victory Lane Bottle of Milk Tradition. In 2008, she commemorated the installation of the fair’s covered bridge. Last year’s sculpture saluted Indiana Dairy Farm Families and the hard work and dedication they provide for Hoosiers, Every Single Day.

Famous “celebrity heads” she has been commissioned to sculpt over the years include late night talk show hosts David Letterman and Jay Leno; racing legend (and 1969 Indy 500 champion) Mario Andretti; actor Paul Newman; TV journalist Katie Couric, and many others. The cheese sculpture will be on display in its refrigerated case throughout the run of the State Fair, which ends Sunday, August 22.

The dairy industry ranks as Indiana’s fourth largest agricultural concern. The American Dairy Association of Indiana, a not-for-profit organization representing the state’s dairy farmers, annually sponsors and operates the popular State Fair Dairy Bar located opposite the Coliseum between the fair’s administration building and the Grand Hall. The Dairy Bar menu offers a variety of items including thick, delicious milkshakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, ice cold white and chocolate milk, ice cream and frozen custard, fried mozzarella sticks, bagels, danish, breakfast biscuits with egg, sausage and cheese, and in honor of this year’s State Fair theme, the Chocolate Pig – making it the perfect spot for fairgoers to get their FDA-recommended 3-Every-Day of Dairy. The Dairy Bar is open throughout the fair from 8 am to 9 pm daily.


Fuel Up to Play 60

National Dairy Council and National Football League Program

Aims to Reach More Than 90,000 Schools by 2011

Fuel Up to Play 60 is joining the First Lady’s call to improve the health of our next generation. An in-school nutrition and fitness program launched in partnership by National Dairy Council and National Football League, Fuel Up to Play 60 shares the ambitious and attainable goals outlined in the First Lady’s childhood obesity platform. The program recognizes that many of today’s youth are overweight yet undernourished and encourages the availability and consumption of nutrient-rich foods – particularly low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains – along with 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Fuel Up to Play 60 is funded with an initial private sector financial commitment of $250 million over five years by America’s Dairy Farmers. Already impacting more than 59,000 schools nationwide, the program will further its progress by announcing the following commitment to the next generation:

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