America’s dairy producers, through their investment in the dairy checkoff, are kicking off the second year of Fuel Up to Play 60, an in-school nutrition and physical activity campaign launched by the National Dairy Council (NDC), the nutrition research and education arm of the dairy checkoff and the National Football League (NFL).

Fuel Up to Play 60 encourages the consumption and availability of nutrient-rich foods, including low-fat and fat-free dairy, along with 60 minutes of daily physical activity. The program will be implemented in more than 60,000 schools across the United States during the 2010-11 school year reaching 36 million students.

To jump start this year’s program, participating Fuel Up to Play 60 schools are encouraged to help the NFL celebrate the beginning of its new season during a Back to Football Friday event on Sept. 10. Thirty-four schools across the nation have an opportunity to be awarded a $10,000 grant to support new physical education equipment and resources, as well as a visit from an NFL player.

The NFL also is asking sponsors and partners such as NDC to build excitement through its Show Your Pride photo contest. Dairy producers are encouraged to submit photos displaying their NFL and dairy passion for an opportunity to host an NFL player at their farm, among other prizes.

“We want our dairy farm families to put their creativity on full display with this contest,” said Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy producer and chair of Rosemont, Ill.-based Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national checkoff program and the NDC. “We want to show the NFL that we are a very engaged and enthusiastic partner, and to share our pride in and enthusiasm for dairy farming.”

Another element new to Fuel Up to Play 60 is the “How to Build a Healthy Kid” back-to-school guidebook that was developed and produced by Newsweek at no additional cost to dairy producers. Multiple copies of the guidebook are included in kits that will be distributed to the 60,000 participating Fuel Up to Play 60 schools. The remaining copies of the guidebook will be used by national and local dairy checkoff organizations to distribute when speaking with health professionals, local school officials and organizations, community leaders, and as a tool to help secure additional partners and resources.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is heavily emphasized in the guidebook that includes messages of support from USDA secretary Tom Vilsack, education secretary Arne Duncan and former surgeon general David Satcher.

Fuel Up to Play 60, which has support from several leading health organizations and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, empowers youth to take action for their health by employing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools. It builds upon dairy producers’ long-term commitment to children’s health and nutrition since the formation of NDC in 1915. Dairy producers, through their checkoff, are making an annual commitment of $50 million over five years to support the program.

“Fuel Up to Play 60 proved its success in its first year,” Rovey said. “As a dairy producer, I’m excited about the opportunity to positively impact health and wellness changes in schools across the country. We need to do our part to promote a healthy lifestyle and dairy experience for them today so they can become lifelong dairy consumers.”

To learn more about the Show Your Pride contest for dairy producers, visit To learn more about Fuel Up to Play 60 visit For more information on the dairy checkoff, visit

Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) is the non-profit domestic and international planning and management organization responsible for increasing sales of and demand for U.S.-produced dairy products and ingredients on behalf of America’s dairy producers. DMI manages the American Dairy Association, National Dairy Council and U.S. Dairy Export Council.

David Pelzer