Years ago, the farmer-funded dairy promotion checkoff moved from a generic advertising approach to a strategy of working with powerful partners with like values who would invest with us and help advance dairy farmers’ interests in doing good things for the world and doing good business for themselves.

It is working. Case in point: The checkoff-founded GENYOUth Foundation has generated $52 million in cash and in-kind resources from non-traditional partners since its launch five years ago to create student-led lifestyle changes that focus on healthy eating – including lots of dairy – and physical activity.

This was provided through relationships with 100-plus private/public partners, which has enabled GENYOUth to provide more than 20,000 grants and solutions to schools to support youth wellness – and empower 100,000 students to lead positive change.

Bidding at GENYOUth-hosted event

This support advances your youth wellness initiatives, including Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60), a partnership of your National Dairy Council and the National Football League, and efforts to grow participation in school breakfast which, of course, includes dairy.

FUTP 60 is the nation’s leading in-school nutrition and physical activity program, reaching 38 million students in 73,000 schools. Since we started in 2010, school breakfast participation has grown, with 2.9 million additional kids a day eating school breakfast, resulting in more than 800 million pounds of additional fluid milk over that period.


Just last December, GENYOUth hosted a premier event in New York that raised $3 million for youth wellness, including FUTP 60 programs, securing additional resources and exposure to advance your goal of improving health and wellness in our nation’s schools and communities, which helps more children meet their needs for dairy and secures tomorrow’s dairy consumers.

This one event was attended by hundreds of business leaders, celebrities, athletes and thought leaders, was underwritten by corporate sponsors, and the focus was on how dairy farmers are helping America’s youth lead healthier lives. This helps put dairy farm families in a great light even as it helps their businesses grow.

GENYOUth brings resources to farmer efforts

The GENYOUth Foundation was founded by the dairy checkoff to bring partners to the table that contribute their dollars and other resources to youth wellness initiatives – most prominently your Fuel Up to Play 60 in-school program.

The GENYOUth board of directors includes CEOs and chairmen from the NFL, Microsoft, Domino’s, SAP, Land O’Lakes, the PTA and others, as well as representatives from academia and the media.

They are as interested in youth wellness as we are, and their input, time and dollars ultimately advance dairy farmers’ interests to keep students well-fed, including dairy, primarily through Fuel Up to Play 60.

In short, the GENYOUth Foundation was made for you and all the dairy farm families across America because it was started by dairy farmers and is overseen by dairy farmers.

Partners key to checkoff success

The partnerships represented in GENYOUth aren’t the only ones bringing value to dairy farmers.

In-school “dairy optimization” efforts with partners are finding creative new ways to get more nutritious dairy into school feeding. For example, food service supply and equipment distributor Atlanta Fixture provides Waring Blenders for smoothies, ovens for pizza and pumps for yogurt parfaits.

Nearly 26 million incremental pounds of milk have been served through this program since 2010.

High schools are using Franke Coffee Systems for their espresso programs, where the average coffee beverage has 7 ounces of milk. Star Vending Machines dispense milk and reimbursable school meals, and during testing in Florida, yogurt parfaits were 55 percent of total vending sales.

A range of partner companies supply insulated coolers, bags and barrels to keep the dairy experience the best it can be for tomorrow’s milk consumers.

Partners such as Domino’s, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, fairlife and other fluid companies are the gifts that keep on giving. We have checkoff employees in place within many of these partners’ offices who are working closely with their staffs to put more dairy on their menus.

Results? National sales of fairlife milk hit 214 million pounds in 2016, and fairlife was recognized as a Top 10 Food & Beverage new product launch by consumer research firm IRI. Based on that success and the checkoff’s push to make changes in fluid milk, other processors have invested more than $500 million in plant infrastructure for new products.

Domino’s moved more than 230 million additional pounds of milk in 2015 versus 2014. And since the 2008 checkoff partnership inception, Domino’s has increased its overall cheese use by a remarkable 43 percent.

All of this is thanks in great measure to your dairy promotion checkoff’s strategy to work with powerful partners who want to move more dairy too.

We look forward to sharing more exciting news about advances in dairy promotion through your checkoff. In the meantime, if you have thoughts or questions, please contact us directly through – we want to hear from you.  end mark

PHOTO 1: Several Fuel Up to Play 60 youth ambassadors thanked dairy farmers for their support during the GENYOUth event in December.

PHOTO 2: A GENYOUth-hosted event raised more dollars to support dairy farmers’ commitment to youth wellness. Courtesy photos.

Your Dairy Checkoff in Action – The following update is provided by Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), which manages the national dairy checkoff program on behalf of America’s dairy farmers and dairy importers. DMI is the domestic and international planning and management organization responsible for increasing sales of and demand for dairy products and ingredients.