Updates from New England Dairy Promotion Board


Leaders in School Meals: Springfield Public Schools

Over the past few years, the Springfield Public School District in Springfield, MA has emerged as a national leader in school nutrition. Due to some major changes to their school meal program with the support of dairy farmer grants, they have increased breakfast and lunch participation in their schools and have maintained a financially sustainable food service operation.

The result? Average daily participation in breakfast increased from 47% in 2014 to 69% in 2016. Over the past year, milk sales have increased 22% across the district. A case study was recently published about their success in partnership with the National Dairy Council to encourage more schools to follow their model.
Farmer Commitment to Clean Water Reaches 2 Million 
It's clear that sustainable farm practices are a priority for farmers and consumers too. The videos we created earlier this year on responsible manure management and cover crops have been viewed over two million times in Vermont and beyond! These efforts were made possible through paid advertising on TV, in movie theaters, and online, as well as public relations outreach in partnership with UVM Extension, and the three Vermont water quality farmer groups.

The cover crop video was shared over 600 times worldwide on Facebook. The manure video was installed in an exhibit in the Echo Lake Aquarium & Science Center in Burlington, VT.

In addition, our footage and interviews with dairy farmers were included in a new Vermont PBS documentary series called "Saving Our Waters."
USDA allowing schools to serve flavored, low-fat milk
The Trump administration announced changes that will make it easier to serve flavored milk as part of the national school lunch and breakfast programs.
 
The new USDA rule will allow lunchrooms to begin serving 1-percent flavored milk next school year.
 
Many dairy industry organizations support this measure. The USDA eliminated low-fat flavored milk as an option in the school meal and a la carte programs in 2012, which resulted in a large decrease in school milk consumption.
New Videos on Benefits
of Farm Technology
 
Watch What Happens When 50 Moms Visit a Dairy Farm
Robots, self-driving tractors, drones,
and other farm technologies are helping farmers feed more people in a responsible way.   Farm technology can make the cows happier, and reduces
the carbon footprint 
of agriculture. In 2018, we'll be promoting  a series of videos on farm technology including digesters, cow care apps, GMOs, and robots. 

In October, we hosted fifty moms for an evening on a dairy farm so they could decide for themselves if dairy is a good choice for their families. 

After the farm dinner and tour experience 95% of the women who attended indicated they had a positive impression of dairy farms. 50% said they would buy more local dairy products.



Dairy Celebrated as Harvest of the Month
Dairy Farm of the Year Posters Available
We all know June is dairy month, but schools celebrate a little differently.
Many of our schools celebrate dairy
as a "Harvest of the Month" during the year. I n January,  Vermont  schools will celebrate dairy as Harvest of the Month
for the first time. In late 2018, 
New Hampshire schools will do the same. March is Harvest of the Month for  Connecticut Massachusetts , and  Rhode Island .

In collaboration with our state farm-to-school partners, we mail resources to these schools to help them promote dairy in their cafeteria, connect their students
to dairy farm families with contests, and highlight how Fuel Up to Play 60 is supported by dairy farmers.

Free posters of each of the 2017 Green Pastures Dairy Farm of the Year winners are available. The posters were mailed to New England schools that participate in Fuel Up to Play 60.

If you'd like copies of any of the posters, email promoitems@newenglanddairy.com
 
Commercial Features Dairy Farmer Warren Shaw

We created a 30 second commercial featuring MA dairy farmer Warren Shaw that aired on FOX 25 in Boston. The commercial is read by Warren and focuses on dairy farmer support of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.

Watch the commercial.
Meet our Staff! 
From left to right: Jennel Shrestha, Heidi Harkopf, Molly McKendry, Amanda Aldred, Kiley Putnam, Laura Hardie, Jill Read, Taylor Evans, Lisanne Hann, Rene Thibault, Carly Ciarletta, Hilary Walentuk, Becca Story, Erin Wholey, Jenny Karl, Diane Krol, Lisa Burnett Robinson, Jill Hussels, Jane Vergnani, and Michael DeAngelis. 
In The News
We contact local news outlets with story ideas about the great things dairy farmers are doing. Here are some of the stories we've worked on recently. If you have an idea for a story or would like to write a letter to the editor, email Rene Thibault.

What's Fresh? Holiday Leftovers - Boston FOX 25 Spent Grains from Local Breweries Used by Farmers For Cow Feed - Keene Sentinel
Greenfield Schools Get Nutrition Grant (MA) - Greenfield Recorder It's the Farmer, not the Farming - Burlington Free Press
Healthy Hot Chocolate with Heidi Harkopf - WFSB CT Springfield Schools: When You Nourish, They Flourish Case Study - WWLP Springfield
Fueling Your Kids for School Success with Jill Hussels - WCAX Across the Fence
A healthier, homemade option to whipped cream with Heidi Harkopf - WFSB CT
State Leaders Urge Vermont Schools to Buy More Local Foods - WPTZ
Farmers Approve 2018 Promotion Programs for New England Dairy - Dairy Business
Opinion: A Dairy Farmer Gives Thanks - Worcester Sun Cozy calves kept warm by Vt. dairy farmer's labor of love - FOX 44/ABC 22
Holiday Decorated Tractors Parade Through St. Albans - WCAX Thompson Public Schools Awarded Grant- Norwich Bulletin (CT)

Here's wishing you all the joy of the season and a happy new year!
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