North Carolina

North Carolina Dairy News

Gaston County Celebrates Hometown Grant

11/19/19 (Gastonia, NC) – On behalf of the NFL and the dairy farm families of North Carolina, the Carolina Panthers and The Dairy Alliance presented Gaston County Schools with a $10,000 Hometown Grant to help provide accessible breakfast meals to its students through mobile kiosks for a grab-and-go service. Carolina Panthers kicker and Fuel Up To Play 60 Player Ambassador Graham Gano, cornerback James Bradberry, Panthers mascot Sir Purr and Top Cats cheerleaders were on hand for the interactive fitness challenges in the pep rally at Robinson Elementary School. Gaston County’s own local dairy farmer Cameron Eaker was featured in the trivia section of the pep-rally, describing the process of milking 500 cows daily on his dairy farm.

Angela Calamia, Director of Child Nutrition for Gaston County Schools, stated, ‘We’re very grateful for the resources from Fuel Up to Play 60 and our North Carolina dairy farm families who make healthier eating and the right amount of activity a reality for our students.”


The Dairy Alliance Stresses Dairy’s Iportance at WIC Meeting

11/6/2019 (Raleigh, NC) – The Dairy Alliance exhibited at the North Carolina Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Annual Meeting, providing resources for WIC staff to educate their clients on the importance of dairy in the diet by handing out and discussing recipe brochures, lactose intolerance management tips, posters on the nutrition in milk, MyPlate meal guidelines and milk vs. milk alternatives nutrient information to attendees. Additionally, The Dairy Alliance sponsored Clancy Harrison, RD, who presentated on the topic “The Faces of Hunger,” speaking on the importance of providing dairy foods in food banks as a highly nutritious and affordable food for those that are food insecure. Throughout the event, The Dairy Alliance stressed the importance of dairy’s place in the diet and finding ways for everyone to have access to fresh dairy products.


School Meal Program Provides Milk at Dinner, Too

10/25/2019 (Statesville, NC) – The Dairy Alliance provided coolers to four Iredell-Statesville schools that implemented the After School Supper Meals Program to transport milk and meals in 2018. Now, the results of the program are clear. The average number of meals served per day in these four school increased 4.6% in 2018-2019 and milk usage increased 12.5%. The program has proven so successful that five additional schools implemented the After School Supper Meal Program this 2019-2020 school year.


Gano Honors National Farmers Day

10/12/2019 (Charlotte, NC) – Fuel Up to Play 60 Ambassador and Carolina Panthers Kicker Graham Gano tweeted a picture of him and his son at a dairy as a way to say thank you to dairy farmers this National Farmers Day.


NCAND Considers the Importance of Dairy Consumption

9/13/2019 (Asheville, NC) – The North Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (NCAND) annual meeting for registered dietitians was held this September. The Dairy Alliance sponsored Dr. Jim Painter and his presentation titled “Food Psychology: Why We Eat More Than We Think.” In his discussion, he revealed that Americans are not eating enough whole foods, how dairy compares to alternative beverages and why dairy is important in disease prevention, maintaining bone health and aiding weight management.


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.


FUTP60 Grant Brings Breakfast Program to More Schools in Craven County System

8/30/2019 (New Bern, NC) – Craven County School Nutrition was awarded a FUTP60 grant in the amount of $35,230 to expand their school breakfast program at 9 schools. The grant will supplement the purchase of sustainable equipment that will support alternative breakfast programs at each school and encourage students to begin their school day with a dairy-filled breakfast.

“We are doing our part to encourage students to make healthy choices including fueling up with school breakfast and nutrient rich milk, as well as be active for 60 minutes a day” added Roseann Liberatore, Registered Dietitian and Manager of Youth Wellness for The Dairy Alliance.


AAFP Southeast Family Medicine Forum Discusses Dairy in the Diet

8/16/2019 (Asheville, NC) – The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Southeast Family Medicine Forum held a three-day event for medical providers across the region. Carolina Panthers Sports Dietitian Jennifer Brunelli, MS, RD, LD presented on the topic “What Diet Does and Why it Matters in Primary Care. The topic covered many popular diets like Keto, Whole 30, Intermittent Fasting and Paleo. She also discussed why these diets can be harmful according to what the research states on each type of diet. The presentation covered the importance of all the food groups as stated in the Dietary Guidelines, especially regarding the nutrients found in dairy and research on dairy’s part in disease prevention.


2 WNC nonprofits team up to provide milk to families in need

7/22/2019 (Asheville, N.C.) – Local ABC News station Channel 13 WLOS covers The Dairy Alliance’s efforts to provide more milk to food banks through the Milk2MyPlate initiative. Find the full story here.


Piedmont Now Features the Eakers

7/1/2019 (Cherryville, N.C.) – Piedmont Now Magazine follows the Eaker family for a day on the dairy farm. Additionally, Laura Buxenbaum provides delicious dairy recipes courtesy of The Dairy Alliance.

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.

FCCLA Discover Conference Highlights Dairy

4/15/2019 (Greensboro, N.C.) – The Dairy Alliance partnered with Shannon Davidson, Ph.D., Dairy Extension Associate with North Carolina State University to provide an interactive workshop at the North Carolina FCCLA Discover Conference to connect students and consumers, with dairy farmers, producers of nutrient-rich dairy foods. Participants experienced all aspects of dairy farming including cow care, milk quality, milk safety and dairy nutrition through a virtual field trip conducted by The Dairy Alliance. The lesson focused on debunking many popular milk myths and providing scientific-based facts about dairy. Participants took home dairy educational resources provided by The Dairy Alliance.

New Smoothie Program Moves More Dairy

3/22/2019 (Elizabethtown, N.C.) – East Bladen High School in Elizabethtown was awarded a smoothie grant through The Dairy Alliance. The school used the grant money to purchases an immersion blender to make dairy smoothies in large portions. The Dairy Alliance visited East Bladen High and hosted a smoothie tasting to get the students excited about the future smoothie additions to the breakfast menu. Over 600 students and teachers sampled the different flavors of smoothies! The school nutrition staff learned how to operate the blender and practiced a variety of recipes. Students were excited to have the smoothies added to their daily breakfast menu!

Lake Norman Elementary Celebrates National School Breakfast Week

3/6/2019 (Mooresville, N.C.) – Local racing celebrity, Max Papis, joined The Dairy Alliance and the Fuel Up to Play 60 team at Lake Norman Elementary School in Mooresville to kick off National School Breakfast Week. Papis encouraged students to fuel their mornings with school breakfast and milk! Lake Norman Elementary recently received a Fuel Up To Play 60 grant to purchase a Grab N Go Kiosk. The Grab N Go program allows students to eat breakfast in the classroom. The new program will serve over 600 students each day!

Chocolate Milk Tast Testing

2/26/2019 (Harmony, N.C.) – Union Grove Elementary School in Iredell County is one of several schools in the district that provide an alternative breakfast program to ensure that all students have the opportunity to start their day with a healthy school breakfast. While their breakfast in the classroom is successful, there was some concern over the milk that is left over. Therefore, The Dairy Alliance teamed up with the School Nutrition Program to provide dairy education and a chocolate milk taste test for the students. Since the National School Lunch Program’s guidelines have changed and will now allow schools to offer 1% flavored milk, the district wanted to see if students had a preference. The results from this taste test suggest that more students would likely consume chocolate milk if they switched to 1% chocolate milk. 75% of the students who participated in the tasting preferred the 1% chocolate milk over fat-free chocolate milk. Iredell County is looking into making the switch to 1% chocolate milk to increase milk consumption among its students.

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.

Smooth & Smart

2/1/2019 (Rowan County, N.C.) –Three high schools in Rowan County received smoothie equipment grants from The Dairy Alliance to help students receive the essential nutrients in dairy. Each of the schools serve smoothies at breakfast, lunch and supper meals. Each smoothie contains two cups of dairy! These smoothies have been a great success and the students are continuously coming up with new creative flavors. As a result of the smoothie program, the three schools moved 116,355 pounds of dairy in one year!

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

1/28/2019 (Raleigh, N.C.) – 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!

No Kid Hungry SummerPalooza Summits

12/3/2018 (Greenville, N.C.) – “Strength In Numbers” is the theme of the 2018 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and No Kid Hungry SummerPalooza Summits. Throughout October and November, The Dairy Alliance partnered with NKH and NCDPI at four events across the state. Participants included schools and other organizations who are interested in exploring new partnerships, building sustainable summer meals programs and connecting with other leaders in North Carolina Summer Nutrition. The Dairy Alliance provided several resources for summer meals, including nutrition education materials, marketing and promotion materials and equipment grant opportunities. The Dairy Alliance staff presented at these events to raise awareness of the essential nutrients in milk and dairy foods and provide helpful recommendations aimed to increase dairy consumption.

“We know that children aren’t drinking enough milk. In an effort to help increase consumption, we came up with the milk carton dice activity to not only increase milk consumption but to support our strength in numbers theme. The Milk represents “strength” and the dots on the dice represents “numbers,” said Jessica Soldavini, Graduate Research Assistant with NKH.

The Dairy Alliance provided the Milk Carton Dice instructions to attendees to use at their summer meals sites. This activity encourages children to get their three daily servings of dairy.

Carolina Panthers Dairy Appreciation Game

11/4/2018 (Charlotte, N.C.) – Dairy families from both Carolinas and Virginia made their way to Bank of America stadium to be our honored guests at the 2018 Dairy Appreciation Carolina Panthers game. Virginia’s Fuel Up To Play 60 Student Ambassador, Nicholas Liberatore, led pre-game physical activity and nutrition challenges at the farmer sponsored Fuel Up To Play 60 Combine in Bearden Park. PET Dairy was on hand with free TruMoo milk for park goers. As farm families enjoyed a tailgate luncheon they heard from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools sports registered dietitians, trained as dairy advocates in 2018. Our new advocates expressed their appreciation for our farm families and how valuable the dairy trainings have been when promoting healthy nutrition to 10,000 student-athletes that call Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools home.

Donna Martin on Coffee with America

10/15/2018 (Raleigh, N.C.) – Donna Martin, Registered Dietitian and dairy advocate, appeared on Coffee with America to support The Dairy Alliance’s Eat Together, Eat Better campaign. Donna talked about the three tips to help families eat together: plan, prep and pack the pantry. She also discussed the health benefits children receive from eating with their families. Her video has over 2.5 million views so far! Watch the full segment here.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools awarded Hometown Grant

10/9/2018 (Charlotte, N.C.) – On behalf of the National Football League and dairy farm families of North Carolina, the Carolina Panthers and The Dairy Alliance presented Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools with a $10,000 Hometown Grant. The Hometown Grant will assist Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools in making improvements to in-school nutrition and physical activities. Robin Lyles, Assistant Principal for Lebanon Road Elementary said, “We’re very grateful for the resources from Fuel Up to Play 60 to make healthier eating and the right amount of activity a reality for our students.” In spring of 2018, Fuel Up to Play 60 students led Panthers player, Graham Gano and North Carolina dairy farmer, Roddy Purser, on a tour of their school garden and shared a school lunch with the pair. Prior to the garden tour, Fuel Up to Play 60 students and Gano visited Purser’s dairy farm in Peachland, North Carolina to learn what it takes to produce milk. Since the program began in 2009, the dairy farm families in the Carolinas have invested over $1 million dollars to support Fuel Up to Play 60 in their schools. “This is a special relationship we have with the students through Fuel Up to Play 60. They are doing great work at Lebanon Road Elementary to get kids proper nutrition and physical activity” said Roddy Purser. “We’re proud to do our part providing milk to drink and encouraging kids to make healthy choices for their life” added Purser.

North Carolina Board Members

Kent Herman

Roddy Purser

North Carolina Farmer Relations Manager

Elizabeth Moretz

(828) 263-4682