Georgia Dairy News

Celebrating With The Holiday Lights

11/12/2019 (Atlanta, GA) – The Dairy Alliance hosted 14 Registered Dietitians from across our region for the final advocate training of the year. This training focused on preparing Registered Dietitians to present Holiday Lights, a media interview providing tips on keeping healthy during the holidays by staying light on stress, light on food and using exercise to lighten the metabolism with The Dairy Alliance recipes. The high-quality protein in dairy was highlighted as curbing hunger and providing essential vitamins and minerals to stay healthy during the holidays, as well as drinking milk to stay hydrated and nourished during the busy season.


Georgia Milk Producers to Host Georgia Dairy Conference in January

10/30/2019 (Savannah, GA) – Dairy farm families and industry leaders of the southeast dairy community will gather Jan. 20-22 for the 2020 Georgia Dairy Conference at the Savannah Riverfront Marriott in Savannah, Georgia. This three-day conference is a premier dairy conference and allows producers to advance their knowledge, connect with producers and industry leaders, and discover new perspectives on issues that are important to the dairy industry. Free admission to Georgia dairy farmers. Click here for more information.

2020-GDC-Producer Guest-Packet-complete


All Things Dairy at Sunbelt Ag Expo

10/14/19 (Moultrie, GA) – This year’s Sunbelt Ag Expo was held October 14-17. To educate consumers about dairy, The Dairy Alliance partnered with Georgia Milk Producers and Mobile Dairy Classroom. After hearing educational talks by UGA staff members and interacting with dairy calves, The Dairy Alliance distributed promotional items along with milk, yogurt and ice cream to attendees.


Sipping Milk at the Georgia National Fair

10/3/2019 (Perry, GA) –  The Georgia National Fair was held October 3-13 this year. The Dairy Alliance created an interactive experience where fairgoers could learn more about dairy’s story. To answer questions about where milk comes from and its benefits, attendees saw a live milking at the Mobile Dairy Classroom, interacted with different types of feed, tested their dairy knowledge, enjoyed a cold chocolate milk and more. The area was popular with fairgoers who enjoyed 26,000 cartons of milk during the fair.


Ocee Elementary Learns About Farm to Fridge

9/25/19 (Johns Creek, GA) – The Dairy Alliance’s Will McWhirter spoke to kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students at Ocee Elementary School in Fulton County for Careers on Wheels Day, coinciding with World School Milk Day. With Mayfield’s Maggie the Milk Cow as part of the presentation, Will explained the farm to fridge process and, in theme with the career day, how milk is transported. He also talked all about cows: how cows are cared for, how they are fed and the milk they create.


Oak Hill Cheers on Milk

9/17/19 (Milledgeville, GA) – A ribbon cutting ceremony and check presentation for FUTP60 grant funds took place at Oak Hill Middle School. The Dairy Alliance’s Will McWhirter joined Wellness Coordinator A’Keti Mayweather, and Principal Daymond Ray, Baldwin County Schools Board Members and students to present the FUTP60 grant check. Funding was used to purchase two new basketball goals for the school in addition to blenders to add smoothies using milk and yogurt to the menu 2 to 3 times a week. Students were led in a cheer to get them excited about FUTP60 bringing dairy to their school.


Kroger’s Registered Dietitians Learn the Benefits of Consumers Choosing Dairy

9/9/2019 (Atlanta, GA) – In partnership with Kroger, The Dairy Alliance held Decoding the Dairy Case training September 9 and 10 for Kroger’s registered dietitians from across the country. One supermarket registered dietitian can impact hundreds of people a month.

The two-day event showcased what occurs before milk is available on Kroger’s dairy aisle so registered dietitians can better promote a dairy inclusive diet to consumers. Participants met at Windy Hill Dairy in Senoia, Georgia, for a tour before heading to Kroger’s Atlanta dairy processing plant. The dietitians were impressed by the dedication to providing a healthy beverage. Attendees also learned about the Eat Together, Eat Better with Real Dairy campaign and the nutrition and price differences between cow’s milk and non-dairy alternatives. Now, registered dietitians are equipped with the accurate message to share the importance of dairy in a balanced meal.


Acworth Elementary Receive Legacy 53 Equipment

9/3/2019 (Acworth, GA) – The Dairy Alliance and GENYOUth joined Acworth Elementary students in celebrating the awarding of new breakfast equipment. The school received a tablet, breakfast cart and rolling insulated milk barrel through funding by the Arby’s Foundation. In recognition of this, students and Arby’s employees cut the ribbon together. The funding is part of Legacy 53, a partnership begun in honor of Atlanta’s hosting Super Bowl 53. The program helps locate schools wishing to increase meal participation through featured dairy products.


Including Dairy at the NFL FLAG Football Training

8/26/2019 (Statesboro, GA; Valdosta, GA) – The Atlanta Falcons and The Dairy Alliance cohosted two NFL FLAG Football Trainings at Georgia Southern University and Valdosta State University for 100 schools in the regions. The Dairy Alliance provided a healthy breakfast of yogurt parfaits to about 80 physical education teachers who attended each training provided by a SHAPE America trainer before receiving a flag football kit. The Dairy Alliance’s Will McWhirter spoke to the p.e. teachers about the FUTP60 program and various nutrition education resources before providing each school with Fuel Up 123 bulletin board kits.


Chapel Hill Reveals New Design for Cafeteria Using FUTP60 Grant

8/7/2019 (Decatur, GA) – Championed by former NFL player and now math and science teacher Michael Harris, Chapel Hill Middle is very involved with the FUTP60 program. This summer, the CHMS cafeteria was revamped using funds from a FUTP60 grant featuring a local artist’s mural of Falcons players in action and FUTP60 themes. The school year began with a ribbon cutting ceremony held during the first lunch period. Local dignitaries attended and spoke about the school, the new cafeteria and the FUTP60 program’s impact. The Dairy Alliance spoke on the importance for youth to eat a well-balanced diet of low-fat dairy, whole grain, fruits and veggies as well as the benefits of being involved with FUTP60. Blenders purchased using FUTP60 funds were used to make smoothie samples. Prepared by Chapel Hill Middle School FUTP60 student ambassadors, students sampled the smoothies using fruit juice and yogurt following the ribbon cutting.


Atlanta Community Food Bank’s New Partnership Helps Close Hunger Gap

7/23/2019 (Atlanta, Ga) – The Dairy Alliance has officially launched the Milk2MyPlate initiative with the Atlanta Food Bank. Due to milk being a top requested item at food banks yet continuously in short supply, the initiative strives to provide more milk to food insecure families. Through this initiative, the Atlanta Community Food Bank will receive 60 gallons of fresh milk a week over the course of the year to distribute across its service area.

Officials Hope Early Education will Spark Interest in Agriculture Jobs

7/8/2019 (AJC) – 

Twenty Georgia elementary schools will roll out agricultural education courses as a way of enticing students to consider a career in agriculture. Full Story. 

Debunking Milk Myths: From Farm Gate 2 MyPlate

6/03/2019 (Monroe, N.C.) – Roddy Purser guided participants from across the region through his dairy farm for a multi-day advocate training event. Participants enjoyed a meal by The Dairy Alliance advocate and Charlotte culinary expert, Heidi Billotto. During lunch, registered dietitian and sixth generation farmer Marianne Smith Edge presented “What’s the Buzz in Agri-Nutrition.” The next day, advocates learned communication training to help answer consumer questions.


Georgia 4-H MilkMake Contests

4/30/2019 (Atlanta, Ga) – In 2019, 58 counties participated in the Georgia 4-H MilkMake Recipe Contest sponsored by The Dairy Alliance. Over 1,000 4-H members in grades four through eight developed new recipes for fun and creative milk drinks and competed in county contests. The Georgia 4-H MilkMake recipe contests are held at the county level, which allows counties to host the competition in a way that fits their community. Many counties choose to conduct the contest live in a cook-off style format at their office, local schools, or other community locations. The MilkMake contest is paired with a lesson on Georgia agriculture or MyPlate highlighting dairy farming and nutrition. Several counties chose to pump up the fun by featuring a Georgia 4-H Blender Bike to blend the drinks at their event. All of the 4-H leaders who hosted a MilkMake contest this year reported that they consider this a worthwhile activity for their 4-H members!

Diet Disasters on Coffee with America

3/29/2019 (Atlanta, Ga) – Dairy advocate, Holley Grainger, appeared on the national show “Coffee with America” to discuss The Dairy Alliance’s Diet Disasters campaign. She talked about the nutrient shortfalls in fad diets, juicing and intermittent fasting. Many of these new diet trends recommend cutting out essential food groups such as dairy. Grainger highlighted all of the vital nutrients real dairy provides and showed consumers how to reach their three daily servings of dairy. Viewers were directed to The Dairy Alliance’s website to learn more about dairy nutrition and find dairy-themed recipes.

Milk2MyPlate Brings Milk to Georgia Families

3/20/2019 (Atlanta, Ga.) – The Dairy Alliance partnered with the Atlanta Community Food Bank to kickstart a Milk2MyPlate program to provide food insecure families with fresh milk. Fresh milk is one of the most requested items from food banks, yet it is not continually stocked due to short shelf life and inadequate storage. The Dairy Alliance provided a $50,000 grant to purchase 17 commercial cooling units for food pantries across Georgia to keep fresh milk cold. Supplying refrigeration units and establishing a regular route for milk deliveries at food banks will aid our community and offer a new market for our dairy farmers.

F.I.T Girls Rise Up!

3/15/2019 (Atlanta, Ga.) – Grady Jarrett, defensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons, attended Hull Middle School in Gwinnett County to celebrate The Dairy Alliance’s F.I.T. Girls Rise Up! Program. The program is focused on young women getting active and involved in what “FUELS and INSPIRES them, TOGETHER.” The Dairy Alliance conducted an art contest across all Gwinnett County Middle Schools to see what F.I.T. means to them in the form of art. The artwork was required to show how dairy fuels their activities. The selected winner, Hull Middle School student, won a dairy-themed celebration for her school!

Second Chance Breakfast Moves More Dairy

3/4/2019 (Lincolnton, Ga.) – The Dairy Alliance visited Lincoln County High School to see their new breakfast cart in action! Lincoln County High received the Cambro Flex Station to increase dairy consumption. With the addition of this cart, students now have a second opportunity to eat breakfast between their first and second class. Students can choose from new dairy options including yogurt parfaits and milk. The second chance breakfast program has increased breakfast participation by an additional 100 students each day along with a la carte sales. Overall dairy consumption among Lincoln County High School students has increased and continues to rise.

Southeast American College of Sports Medicine

2/20/2019 (Greenville, Sc) – The Southeast American College of Sports Medicine meeting held in Greenville, South Carolina brought together over 1200 professionals and students that work and study in the field of sports medicine and exercise science. The Dairy Alliance sponsored this year’s guest speaker Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSSD, who presented on “From Young Athletes to the Elderly; Protein Needs throughout the Lifespan.” Spano reviewed the benefits of animal protein versus plant protein and explained why dairy is an essential part of an athlete’s diet. She also spoke to students at a mentoring breakfast discussing her career path and providing tips to the students for finding theirs. Additionally, The Dairy Alliance staff exhibited during the meeting with material on dairy versus alternatives, whey protein, lactose intolerance and dairy for athletes. Attendees took home dairy education material and dairy promotional items.

Legacy 53 Super School Breakfast

2/10/2019 (Forest Park, Ga.) – GENYOUth, the official youth partner of the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy 53 initiative, partnered with Georgia business leaders to host a Legacy 53 Super School Breakfast ribbon cutting ceremony at G.P. Babb Middle School. The ceremony unveiled a new Fuel Up to Play 60 grab-n-go cart where students can start their day with a healthy breakfast. Through this Legacy 53 initiative, 53 high-need Georgia schools will receive breakfast carts which will increase access to over 5.3 million more meals, including milk, among Georgia youth in just the first year of use. The Legacy 53 Super School Breakfast initiative is made possible through the support of the Georgia Power Foundation, Arby’s Foundation, Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot Foundation, and the WellCare Community Foundation, in partnership with the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee, and in collaboration with The Dairy Alliance. Falcons Ambassador Matt Bosher, Vikings player Kyle Rudolph, local dairy farmer Jennifer Glover, State Superintendent Woods, Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, Mary Ramsier from Georgia Department of Education, Alexis Glick CEO of GENYOUth, dignitaries from Clayton County Schools and local business leaders attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Laney High Students Learn About Dairy Nutrition

2/8/2019 (Augusta, Ga.) – The Dairy Alliance presented the essential health benefits of dairy to students at Laney High School in Richmond County. The interactive presentation highlighted three servings of dairy as a nutrient powerhouse, and engaged students with lesson activities focused on the value of dairy versus beverages with added sugar. Students learned how to compare the sugar in sports drinks, juices and soda to real milk through the “Think Your Drink” and “Three Servings of Dairy” displays. They also learned how chocolate milk is the perfect recovery drink after physical activity. Students took home dairy goodies provided by The Dairy Alliance.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

1/28/2019 (Atlanta, Ga.) – The Dairy Alliance teamed up with Cracker Barrel to feature a limited-time ice cream for the holiday season. Cracker Barrel featured the salted caramel ice cream at all 653 locations nationwide from November 1 to December 24, 2018. During that time, 12,000 gallons of salted caramel ice cream were sold which equates to 17,280 pounds of milk in just under two months.

Atlanta Falcons Dairy Appreciation Game

12/6/2018 (Atlanta, Ga.) – Georgia dairy families attended the 2018 Dairy Appreciation Atlanta Falcons game as honored guests. Before the game, farmers visited with fans at the Fuel Up to Play 60 activity booth. Freddie the Falcon took pictures with the participants and handed out dairy promotional material. The dairy trivia computer game and milk bottle cutout were a big hit with visitors. The Dairy Alliance passed out recipe books, bracelets, and other dairy resources to over 200 visitors. At the game, the Atlanta Falcons thanked dairy farmers for their hard work and dedication to the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.

Cirrus Charter Academy Grant Success Story

12/3/2018 (Macon, Ga.) – Cirrus Charter Academy school nutrition director, Wendy LaShae Brinson, was introduced to The Dairy Alliance programming at the Georgia Department of Education TEAM UP Conference in May of 2017. Cirrus Charter Academy is part of the Georgia Charter School system and participates in the National School Lunch Program. Wendy was looking for ways to help increase breakfast participation that was at 18%. The Dairy Alliance’s Julie Wilkinson met with Wendy and school administrators to discuss program options and grant opportunities. Plans were outlined to start an expanded breakfast program for the 2017-2018 school year utilizing the Fuel Up to Play 60 grant funding. The overall goal was to increase breakfast participation as well as dairy consumption with milk and yogurt. Cirrus Charter Academy received $4000 in Fuel Up to Play 60 funding in June 2017. This grant was used to support the purchase of equipment for Breakfast in the Classroom and Grab n’ Go programs. Equipment consisted of rolling milk barrels, Fuel Up to Play 60 transport carts and insulated breakfast bags. During the 2017-2018 school year, tremendous strides were made with the new equipment and expanded breakfast programs in place. Among the 400 students, breakfast participation increased by 42.5% from the previous year and milk usage increased by 61.4% equal to 17,673 pounds of milk. The school also added yogurt to the breakfast menus resulting in the use of over 4,000 ounces of yogurt.

“Having extra equipment purchased with the Fuel Up to Play 60 funds has given my students more access to breakfast and dairy products. The milk barrel is a huge hit with its bright colors and the cart/bags has provided easy access for transport. The teachers love being able to keep the items ready and tasty for the students. Having the Fuel Up to Play 60 program in the building sparks interest in our staff, students and stakeholders and made a huge difference with our breakfast participation,” said Wendy LaShae Brinson, Cirrus Charter Academy, School Nutrition Director.

Expanded Breakfast Success Story: Appling County

11/20/2018 (Baxley, Ga.) -Appling County School Nutrition Director, Ellen Carter, reached out to The Dairy Alliance at the beginning of the 2017 school year for help to increase breakfast participation in their district schools. Appling County has low breakfast participation in both the high and middle school where participation was at 10.7% and 19.7% respectively. The main challenge for these schools was the lack of proper equipment to expand breakfast service beyond the cafeteria. The Dairy Alliance partnered with The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and presented grant opportunities to the Appling County Schools Wellness Committee. Appling County Middle School chose a Breakfast in Classroom model and was awarded insulated cooler bags with travel carts. Appling County High School started a Second Chance Breakfast service to capture more students after the first period. Grant funding for this school provided rolling milk barrels to transport milk. Both breakfast solutions resulted in increased breakfast participation and dairy consumption. Appling County Middle School breakfast participation jumped to 77.2 percent, an increase of 57.6% from the previous school year. The high school breakfast participation rose to 87% which was a 76.3% increase. Between the two schools, milk consumption increased by 13.6% moving a total of 68,536 more pounds of milk in the 2017-2018 school year. Yogurt offerings for breakfast at both schools increased by 120%.

“Thanks to The Dairy Alliance, The Appling County School Nutrition Program was able to drastically increase our breakfast participation! The grant funding opportunities allowed us to expand breakfast options for students by purchasing updated equipment that ensures foods are held at proper temperatures for grab and go sites, as well as, breakfast in the classroom. This increase in participation has made a huge impact on the success of our school nutrition program! We are very grateful for the support from The Dairy Alliance,” said Ellen Carter, Appling County School Nutrition Director.

Gwinnett County Features New Strawberry Milk

11/10/2018 (Lawrenceville, Ga.) – Gwinnett School Nutrition Program hosted their second annual “Taste of Gwinnett” in which they invite the Gwinnett’s education leaders to taste items on their school menus. The Dairy Alliance along with representatives from Bordens who were invited to showcase dairy products on school meal menus. Borden’s new strawberry milk was the highlighted item on many school trays. Bordens has recently introduced a new fat-free strawberry milk which removed the artificial food dye. Removing the dye and other ingredients helped create a “cleaner label” as a result of requests from schools and nutrition directors. The new strawberry milk is white in color but maintains the strawberry flavor with the pink carton. Gwinnett County is the tenth largest school district in the nation. Borden introduced the strawberry milk on World School Milk Day in September and continues to see increasing numbers. Borden briefly ran out due to the popularity and has now increased production as a result. As a result of the new strawberry formula, milk consumption in Gwinnett schools increase of 23,925 units compared to the same time frame last year.

Georgia Board Members

Jack Bentley

Kirk Butcher

Judd Chambers

Emory Young

Georgia Farmer Relations Manager

Mekenzie Panhans

(404) 210-4504