VCU Dietetic Interns Tour Local Dairy

The Dairy Alliance took 17 Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) students and one internship director for a tour of Missy and Joel Stanley's Thomas E. Stanley's & Sons Dairy in Ashland, VA, learning about farming practices and the efforts that go into ensuring comfortable, happy cows. The Stanleys explained how organic food is grown compared to conventional farming, the use of GMOs and the veterinary care that cows get. The interns were surprised at the benefits of conventional farming compared to the public's misinformation of farming practices, some expressing happiness that they had more choices in where their food comes from than previously thought. The future dietitians asked the dairy farmers how milk compares to milk's alternatives and how to best discuss this with future patients. After the tour, the group was provided with materials that highlight dairy and registered dietitians' role in agriculture. With the group happy with the information they learned about dairy products, the VCU program hopes to continue to offer this experience with The Dairy Alliance to their dietetic interns in the future.