A Sweet Southern Welcome at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo

Pictured (from left): National Dairy Council President Jean Regalie-Carr, RDN; Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics President Elect Evelyn Crayton, EdD, RDN, LD; SUDIA General Manager Cheryl Hayn, RDN; and Georgia dairy farmer Dixie Truelove.  

October is always an exciting time of year for dietitians because that is when our annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) happens, which is when 8,000 registered dietitians from throughout the country gather to learn, share and connect. This year’s conference was especially exciting because it was held in Atlanta, home of the Southeast Dairy Association.

Since we are southern, we naturally wanted to host an event to show our fellow dairy-loving dietitians how much they mean to us, while highlighting our exciting programs and resources at our “Farm to FNCE” Breakfast.

Georgia dairy farmer Dixie Truelove shared how she and her brother, Jerry, have taken over their family farm and what it means to her to be a dairy farmer. She went on to clarify misconceptions about dairy farming and animal care.

Next, television personality, chef and cookbook author Rebecca Lang spoke about the importance of dairy foods in southern cooking. She explained that we wouldn’t have many of the staples of southern cuisine without dairy foods, such as biscuits, grits and, of course, pimiento cheese!

Lastly, former Atlanta Falcons all-pro defensive end Chuck Smith spoke about the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and the importance of children eating healthy and exercising through play for at least 60 minutes a day.

We were lucky enough to have Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics President Elect Evelyn Crayton, EdD, RDN, LD offer our closing remarks and excite the audience about next year’s conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

Every day is a reason to be proud to be a dietitian, but around the middle of October, it is especially exciting to learn, explore and connect with fellow dietitians at our annual conference. Stay tuned for what the Southeast Dairy Association has in store at next year’s conference!

By: Lanier Dabruzzi, MS, RD, LD