Tennessee Dairy News

Holiday Lights Comes To WBIR

12/10/2019 (Knoxville, TN) – Registered dietician Lee Murphy, who recently trained on the Holiday Lights media campaign, spoke on a segment of NBC local station, WBIR’s Live at Five at Four in Knoxville. She gave tips on eating a balanced meal, including adding cheese as a source of protein and using cottage cheese as a source of protein and calcium. She referred viewers to The Dairy Alliance website for more information and for our Cheesy Guacamole recipe. Find her full interview here.


Muffins and Milk Make the Best Breakfast in Bradley County

11/19/2019 (Cleveland, TN) – It’s official: Bradley County Schools in Tennessee make the best blueberry muffins. Food Management, a magazine covering everything noncommercial food staff need to know, picked the most talked about cafeteria foods and chose this creation for the best breakfast. These muffins are made with fruit and a simple glaze before being served with a carton of milk, a great way to get students fueled for a day of learning! Find other picks here.


TAHPERD Sponsorship Provides Informational Source on Dairy

10/27/2019 (Mufreesboro, TN) – The Dairy Alliance sponsored the Tennessee Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD) Conference, allowing for an advertisement in the conference handbook and for The Dairy Alliance logo and webpage link to be posted on the TAHPERD website for one year. During the conference, The Dairy Alliance set up a booth featuring FUTP60, the benefits of chocolate milk, and milk vs. alternative beverages health facts. Those of the 600 attendees visiting the booth were offered promotional materials and posters, bulletin boards and a carton of 1% Chocolate Milk to enjoy while learning about the various programs that promote dairy.


Freedom Middle Receives Hometown Grant

10/16/2019 (Franklin, TN) – Tennessee Titans players and The Daily Alliance awarded Freedom Middle School a $10,000 Hometown Grant to encourage a healthy lifestyle amongst students. Following the check presentation, Titans players Ryan Succop, Dane Cruikshank, Tye Smith and LeShaun Sims, mascot T-Rac and Titans cheerleaders played competitive games with students during a pep rally to promote healthy eating and physical activity.


Lamar Elementary Moo-ving for FUTP60 Kickoff

10/2/2019 (Jonesborough, TN) – Washington County’s Lamar Elementary School kicked-off FUTP60 with children walking to school from the main road as part of a morning mile and walking club. As students walked to school, local dairy farmers had cows along the path for children to interact with and pet. Students were excited to begin the school day with farm animals. Kids were also provided bananas and milk for breakfast during the morning walk. After arriving at the school, students enjoyed music, played with 9-Square sets purchased with a FUTP60 grant and sampled yogurt parfaits created using FUTP60-funded equipment. The Dairy Alliance provided pencils, bracelets and Farming Activity Booklets for the event before reading The Cow Loves Cookies to younger students.


Huntland Dances for Dairy

9/23/2019 (Huntland, TN) – Huntland School celebrated Fuel Up To Play 60 with a performance by Spencer’s Own, a local country music group. All of the students gathered in the gymnasium for the check presentation, where The Dairy Alliance discussed the program and encouraged students to participate in the program through the website and app. Students practiced playing by dancing to their private concert. The cafeteria manager, school nutrition director and the coordinated school health director discussed what the funds would be used for, like a walking trail and smoothie equipment. Students were excited to hear smoothies were coming to the menu!


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.


White County Receives a Dairy Education

9/5/2019 (Sparta, TN) – Every fourth grader in White County attended the Downtown Education Tour event sponsored by the White County Board of Education. The Dairy Alliance set up a booth and conducted ten dairy nutrition sessions in partnership with the White County School Nutrition Program. Students learned about dairy nutrition and what eaxctly real milk is. Students learned that milk is the top Farm To School food consumed every day in school. The School Nutrition Director, Tonya Savage, treated the students to a mini blueberry yogurt parfait with the blueberries grown locally. The schools are planning to offer the yummy parfaits for breakfast in future breakfast menus. After trying the parfaits, all students were given a Fuel Up to Play 60 plastic bracelet and Yo-to-Go Sticker. Students were excited from what they learned and promised to consume three servings of dairy each day.


Crab Orchard Celebrates 10 Years of the NFL Fueling Up with Milk

8/29/19 (Crab Orchard, TN) – Crab Orchard Elementary celebrated the 10 Year Birthday for FUTP60 by having a birthday poster contest and school wide NFL celebration! There were 130 dairy poster entries decorating the halls with students dressing in their best jerseys for the day. The event was planned and facilitated by recent Student FUTP60 Summit attendees Student Ambassador Ian and his Program Advisor, Cindy Miniard.


Lake Ridge Refills on Milk Thanks to New Dispensers

8/16/2019 (Johnson City, TN) – Lake Ridge Elementary celebrated its Fuel Up To Play 60 Kickoff by decorating masks to look like dairy cows and enjoying all things milk. Dairy farmer Mr. Saylor brought several of his dairy cows for students to pet including a one day old calf. The Dairy Alliance shared dairy benefits before reading “The Cow Loves Cookies” and passing out pencils and fuel up bracelets.

Three milk dispensers were launched for the eager students to taste skim milk and 1% chocolate milk. One dispenser was purchased with grant funds, another was provided by an equipment vendor, and the third was provided by Mayfield Dairy. The school district is also working with ETSU Dietetic Interns to track the milk consumption, paper carton reduction and additional information provided with the dispensers.


Sycamore Elementary Kicks Off School with Smoothies

7/26/2019 (Cookeville, TN) – 300 students and their parents attended a back to school bash at Sycamore Elementary in Putnam County. While celebrating the new school year, attendees tried strawberry or blueberry smoothies. After trying the flavors, students were excited to have them at school day meals. In addition to yummy smoothies, students received Farm to School activity books, pencils and stickers.


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.


Diet Disasters on Today in Nashville

3/27/2019 (Nashville, Tenn.) – Tennessee dairy advocate, Karman Meyer, appeared on Channel 4’s Today in Nashville segment to discuss The Dairy Alliance’s Diet Disasters campaign. Many current diet trends encourage cutting out various food groups, including dairy. Meyer explained the importance of including real dairy in every meal for bone and heart health, as well as chocolate milk’s powerful benefits as a performance beverage after exercise. To close out the show, Meyer demonstrated The Dairy Alliance’s sheet pan Mediterranean shrimp recipe and talked about the benefits of substituting yogurt for other ingredients in recipes. Viewers were directed to The Dairy Alliance’s website to learn more about dairy nutrition and healthy recipes. Watch Meyer’s full segment here.

Clark Memorial Elementary School Receives Fuel Up to Play 60 Grant

3/7/2019 (Winchester, Tenn.) – Clark Memorial Elementary School in Franklin County held a Fuel Up To Play 60 kick-off event with over 600 students participating! The Dairy Alliance provided nutrition education to all of the students and staff. After learning all about dairy, students took a pledge to consume more dairy products every day. “The Cow Loves Cookies” was read to all of the students with Ms. Patty the Cow mascot making a special visit. To conclude the celebration, The Dairy Alliance presented the Fuel Up To Play 60 Grant check for $4,000! The students ended the event by chanting loudly, “WE LOVE DAIRY” over and over. After the Fuel Up to Play 60 celebration, students were served yogurt parfaits at lunch and a Grab N Go option featuring a variety of dairy products. The serving line featured the grant-funded cold storage unit that held the parfaits. The students and staff are excited to have the new dairy additions as a permanent menu option!

Cumberland County High School Kickstarts a Smoothie Program

2/28/2019 (Crossville, Tenn.) – The Dairy Alliance provided training to the school nutrition staff at Cumberland County High School in Crossville on how to use their new immersion blender. Cumberland County High was eager to start their new smoothie program after receiving a grant for the program and blender. To practice, the staff made over 600 smoothies that each included milk and yogurt. The students and faculty were able to sample the different flavors and give feedback about their favorites. Many of the students told The Dairy Alliance staff they love the smoothies and can’t wait for them to be a permanent menu item for the afterschool snack program. Athletic teams at Cumberland County High will be offered dairy smoothies after school to help with workout recovery.

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.

Warren County Moves More Dairy

1/28/2019 (Warren County, Tenn.) – The Dairy Alliance granted each of the ten schools in Warren County an Immersion blender kit to increase participation in school meals. School nutrition staff from each school were trained on how to best utilize the blender and prepare new recipes. The entire district revamped their lunch and dinner menus to include the new yogurt smoothies as a grab’n’go option. As a result, Warren County Schools saw an overall increase in dairy consumption. They moved an additional 508,872 more ounces of milk and 308,092 more ounces of yogurt.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

1/28/2019 (Lebanon, Tenn.) – 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.

Rutledge Middle School Awarded Fuel Up to Play 60 Grant

12/5/2018 (Rutledge, Tenn.) – Rutledge Middle School Celebrate their $4,000 Fuel Up To Play 60 grant award with a nutrition training, check presentation, and pep rally. The Dairy Alliance conducted a brief dairy-nutrition training for the students at Rutledge Middle School. Principal Jones and the physical education teacher annouced the grant funding would go towards new badminton and frisbee golf kits along with equipment to store more dairy products. The director of school nutrition, Amy Orr, displayed the new parfait cart featuring fruit and yogurt parfaits. Students were asked dairy-themed questions and received Fuel Up To Play 60 towels, and frisbees for correct answers. All the students received promotional bracelets from The Dairy Alliance. The parfait self-serve bar will be offered to all of the students beginning in January. The students were encouraged to join to the Fuel Up to Play 60 site. The computer technology teacher is incorporating the Fuel Up to Play 60 site into the student class work.

Dairy Academy Pilot Program

11/14/2018 (Knoxville, Tenn.) –The Dairy Alliance hosted the first ever Dairy Academy at Sysco’s Knoxville location. The session included school nutrition directors and staff from 15 surrounding school districts interested in adding more dairy to the school menus. Attendees learned about the nutritional benefits dairy provides for children including chocolate milk as a sports recovery drink and lactose intolerance options. Amber Buckner from Wilson County along with Peggy Hamby from Morgan County presented the best practices and recipes to use when promoting dairy in schools. To celebrate the success of the first Dairy Academy session, attendees sampled dairy smoothies, yogurt parfaits, dairy-based salad dressing and yogurt bars. Lastly, The Dairy Alliance presented the National Dairy Council’s breakfast and lunch recipes and discussed available resources. Due to the success of the Dairy Academy pilot program, The Dairy Alliance will continue to educate school nutrition staff on how to include more dairy on school menus using Dairy Academy sessions throughout the region.

Middle Valley Elementary Celebrates Farm to School Month

10/30/2018 (Hixson, Tenn.) – Middle Valley Elementary School in Hamilton County, Tennessee celebrated Farm to School Month by transforming the school into a farm. Over 850 students and staff dressed up as different farm animals. The school also celebrated receiving a Fuel Up To Play 60 grant. The grant fund will fund breakfast carts and stationary bikes for a spin class. Students and staff were able to sample strawberry smoothies. Since partnering with The Dairy Alliance, Middle Valley Elementary has received four Dairy Optimization Grants and three Fuel Up To Play 60 Grants. The Dairy Alliance passed out giveaways and door prizes to students. Students and staff were excited about the new dairy options on the breakfast menu.

E.K. Baker Awarded Fuel Up to Play 60 Grant

10/25/2018 (Athens, Tenn.) –  E. K. Baker Elementary School in McMinn County celebrated their recently awarded $4,000 Fuel Up To Play 60 Grant to promote breakfast. The Fuel Up to Play 60 kick off started in the gymnasium with all the students participating in a Dairy Pep Rally. The Dairy Alliance presented an interactive dairy nutrition training where students received prizes provided for answering nutrition questions. The cafeteria manager also announced the new parfait menus to the students! The school nutrition director explained the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and encouraged students to visit the website. The school nutrition program donated “The Cow Loves Cookies” book to the library. After the pep rally, the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students listened to a book read by The Dairy Alliance. Students also were provided a second chance breakfast which utilized the grant-funded yogurt parfait cart. Students could choose from a strawberry shortcake or peach cobbler parfaits.

Tennessee Board Members

Celeste Blackburn

Mike Ellis

Steve Lee

Paul Moss


Tennessee Farmer Relations Manager

Denise Jones

(270) 200-4253