In an effort to educate students about the dairy community and where their foods come from, the National Dairy Council, America’s dairy farm families and importers, and Discovery Education—a provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms—have launched a new partnership to introduce an educational initiative, “Undeniably Dairy: Caring for Cows and Nourishing Communities,” which kicked off with a virtual field trip.
This no-cost, immersive experience transported students to a dairy farm where they followed a third-generation dairy farm family. There, they explored the farm-to-table process and learned how farmers, veterinarians and nutritionists work as a team to bring dairy foods to communities nationwide. Students had the opportunity to experience modern dairy farming, cow care and some of the contemporary innovations farmers use daily to nourish communities and support the environment through sustainable farm practices, the organizations said
“National Dairy Council has been working with schools to improve the health and wellness environment for students for over a century, and we understand that now more than ever, students and their parents are making food choices based on trust and a better understanding of where their food comes from,” said Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, LDN, FAND, president, National Dairy Council. “The essential nutrients in milk and dairy foods are important to child growth and development.”
Complementing the virtual field trip, students also have access to a variety of digital learning tools to deepen learning. The Undeniably Dairy education initiative will further expand this school year, with the addition of standards-aligned virtual interactive experiences for students to explore the latest dairy industry technology and innovations with accompanying classroom activities and educator guides. Designed to meet Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), these resources support what the National Dairy Council says is its shared vision of a healthy, happy, sustainable world—with science as its foundation.
“Discovery Education is proud to support the National Dairy Council in their work to engage young people in today’s farming industry, exploring the science and technology that powers this critical sector of the U.S. economy,” said Lori McFarling, SVP and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “Through dynamic digital content and immersive virtual experiences, young people across the country will experience dairy farming first-hand, and will be exposed to an exciting array of 21st century careers.”
As populations have grown, demands for milk have expanded, and dairy farms have implemented new and innovative technologies to meet increased supply needs and conserve land and resources. With these learning tools, the National Dairy Council hopes that students will examine the new world of dairy farming through the lens of caring for our planet and conserving our natural resources, reducing the impact of humans on the environment, and using technology to increase productivity.
The Undeniably Dairy Virtual Field Trip is available for on-demand viewing through Discovery Education Streaming Plus.
The National Dairy Council (NDC), a non-profit organization founded by dairy farmers and funded by the national dairy checkoff program, has been committed to research-based nutrition education and communications since its start in 1915. NDC’s staff of registered dietitians, researchers and nutrition experts educate consumers on dairy’s contributions to healthy eating plans and sustainable food systems, including the farm-to-table connection. NDC has helped launch programs to benefit the health and wellness of children and adults, including Fuel Up to Play 60, which encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve 60 minutes of physical activity each day. NDC also helped launch the Future of Food Partnership and The Great American Milk Drive, which both address food insecurity in America.