Virginia Dairy News

Virginia’s Holiday Lights

11/25/2019 (Roanoke, VA) – The Dairy Alliance’s Callie Yakubisin was interviewed on Daytime Blue Ridge in Roanoke to talk about healthy holiday tips for Holiday Lights. She highlighted milk as a great way to hydrate as well as the protein in dairy. She shared The Dairy Alliance’s recipes and additional lactose intolerance tips so everyone can enjoy dairy this holiday season. The segment has also been posted online at their website, available here.


Homestead Creamery Releases a Partner Profile For Lynchburg City Schools

11/12/2019 (Wirtz, VA) – Homestead Creamery has released its announcement of the dairy’s partnership with Lynchburg City Schools to provide fresh milk for the cafeteria’s milk dispensers. To aid this partnership, The Dairy Alliance provided $11,000 in grant funding to begin the local milk program at Bedford Hills and Perrymont Elementary Schools, both in Lynchburg, to obtain milk dispensers and refrigerated counters that store five-gallon bags of milk. The profile can be found in full here.


VCU Dietetic Interns Tour Local Dairy

11/5/2019 (Ashland, VA) – 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.


Dinwiddie Middle Receives Cart from Chelan Fresh Partnership

10/9/2019 (Blackstone, VA) – The Dairy Alliance partnered with Chelan Fresh and Fuel Up to Play 60 to provide three Virginia school divisions a breakfast and salad bar cart. Dinwiddie Middle School received one of these carts to expand its breakfast program and provide additional healthy options through school meals. The carts can include breakfast foods or snacks which include fresh produce and dairy products. Dairy farmer Brittany Jones from Richland’s Dairy joined the school for its celebration of the new program.


Perrymont Elementary Farm to School Event Teaches Students Importance of Local Agriculture

10/8/2019 (Lynchburg, VA) – Virginia Secretary of Agriculture, Bettina Ring, visited Perrymont Elementary School’s Farm to School Event last Tuesday, October 8th. The students demonstrated their love for the new bulk milk dispensers, which were funded through a Dairy Op grant. These milk dispensers allow students to choose the amount of milk they would like, reducing leftover milk waste. The milk is delivered to the school from local dairy farm, Homestead Creamery.


Elementary Schoolers Experience Farm Days

10/1/2019 (Virginia Beach, VA) – First graders from 8 Virginia Beach schools visited Hunt Club Farm for the Virginia DARE Soil Water Conservation District’s Annual Farm Days. To bring students, teachers and chaperones closer to agriculture, The Dairy Alliance’s Roseann Liberatore and Virginia Cooperative Extension Service agents gave classes a virtual dairy tour. While students enjoyed milk, Roseann provided information about cow nutrition, how cows reduce food waste with their 4-chamber stomach and how cow manure fertilizes crops. Everyone was thankful to our dairy farmers after learning about the hard work that goes into producing our milk.


Newport News Receives Smoothie Training

9/17/2019 (Newport News, VA) – Newport News Public Schools Child Nutrition Services met with The Dairy Alliance’s Roseann Liberatore to train on equipment for their Smooth and Smart program. Smooth and Smart, a grant program established in association with Fuel Up to Play 60, helps acquire industrial blenders and other equipment to integrate yogurt and fruit smoothies into school meals in an effort to increase overall dairy consumption amongst children. In addition to the grant, staff tasted different dairy-filled recipes and received smoothie inspiration resources from The Dairy Alliance to incorporate into the school system’s program.


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.


WSET Learns the ABCs of Dairy

8/23/19 (Lynchburg, VA) – Callie Yakubisin discussed the “ABCs of Back to School” during a media segment on ABC-13 WSET-TV’s Living in the Heart of Virginia. Dairy products’ role as part of the USDA MyPlate meal were highlighted through recipes using greek yogurt and a glass of milk with each meal. Callie discussed the importance of protein and the nine essential nutrients that milk provides for students heading back to school.


Dairy Delivers Mealtime Inspiration

8/6/19 (Remington, VA) – In collaboration with Eat Y’all, The Dairy Alliance took 13 Chef Camp attendees to learn about dairy at Cool Lawn Farm, which is owned and operated by Ken Smith. During the tour, guests learned about the dairy’s cow care practices and how their milk is sustainably produced. Ken answered any questions the camp participants had regarding milk. Once the visit to the dairy farm was complete, the group traveled two miles to enjoy some treats from the Moo Thru creamery, the Smith family’s roadside ice cream shop. Attendees enjoyed a tasting of the store’s offerings to discover how using fresh milk from Cool Lawn’s grass-fed cows makes all the difference in flavor and quality of the ice cream. The chefs then joined together at Graves Mountain Lodge to create a collaborative meal based on the camp’s lessons with dessert from Moo Thru. Now the chefs can attest to how delicious dairy is!


Sharing Real Milk at Peds Conference

7/27/2019 (Virginia Beach, VA) – The Peds at the Beach Primary Care Conference was held in Virginia Beach July 27 through July 29. The annual conference is designed for physicians, nurse practitioners and other medical professionals who deliver primary, emergency and developmental care to children to learn about the latest medical updates. At the event, The Dairy Alliance exhibited to attendees regarding the benefits of real milk. Primary care providers shared challenges they face with children and families using alternative beverages instead of dairy. Thanks to The Dairy Alliance, these providers were able to share materials with families looking to learn more about the benefits of dairy over other beverages.


Supporting Virginia Dairy On the Square

07/19/2019 (Richmond, VA) – In collaboration with the Virginia State Dairymen’s Association, VDACS and Food Bank, The Dairy Alliance promoted dairy and the Milk for Good program at the weekly OnTheSquareVA Farmers Market. The OnTheSquareVA Farmers Market is a weekly event each summer which sells Virginia-made and Virginia-grown products. Attendees were offered free samples of Homestead ice cream and Richlands’ milk. Market goers were curious about raw milk compared to pasteurized products, sustainability on the dairy farm and milk’s benefits compared to alternative beverages. After answering their dairy questions, generous attendees donated to the food bank’s Milk for Good program.


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 Daytime Blueridge

3/20/2019 (Roanoke, VA.) – The Dairy Alliance’s Laura Buxenbaum appeared on Daytime Blueridge to talk about The Dairy Alliance’s Diet Disasters campaign. This campaign focuses on the common myths and mistakes about current diet trends. Many of the new diet trends are not healthy and are viewed as a quick-fix weight loss plan. To combat inaccurate diet trends, Buxenbaum gave viewers tips on how they can overcome the most common diet disasters.  She focused on not eliminating food groups, particularly dairy and adding protein using milk and yogurt in smoothies. Buxenbaum also demonstrated The Dairy Alliance’s recipe of Swiss and ham quiche muffins. Viewers were directed to visit The Dairy Alliance’s website for more information and recipes. Watch the full segment here.


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.


Salted Caramel Ice Cream

1/28/2019 (Richmondmondd, VA.) – 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!


Federation of Virginia Food Banks to Launch Milk for Good

12/5/2018 (Verona, VA.) – On Dec. 5 at the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring and Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) Dr. Jewel Bronaugh announced the launch of the Milk for Good campaign, the first statewide milk purchase program to benefit food insecure families. Milk for Good is an initiative of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks in partnership with The Dairy Alliance, the American Dairy Association North East, and the Virginia Dairymen’s Association. Each of the seven food banks that comprise the Federation, kicked off 2019 by receiving their first 200 half-gallons of milk! The food banks will continue to receive 200 half-gallons each week through the end of June. To accommodate the milk, The Dairy Alliance granted $49,000 in new refrigeration units to eighteen pantries throughout the Commonwealth. The new refrigeration units will enable the Federation to consistently provide milk for families in need.  Read more.


Virginia Association for Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance Convention

11/9/2018 (Virginia Beach, Va.) – The Dairy Alliance hosted a Fuel Up to Play 60 themed exhibit at the Virginia Association for Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance Convention. Fuel Up to Play 60 program advisors and student ambassador, volunteered at the exhibit leading a “toss and tell” activity with attendees. Additionally, The Dairy Alliance staffer, Roseann Liberatore, talked with teachers about the importance of dairy in our diets and provided nutrition education materials, including bulletin board kits and beverage cards with nutrition facts.


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 (Richmond, Va.) – 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.

Virginia Board Members

Maxie Aker

Bobby Combs

Dan Holsinger

Lloyd Phillips

Allen Sisson


Virginia Farmer Relations Manager

Elizabeth Moretz

(828) 263-4682