Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dairy Supports Healthy Community Strategies

Volunteering to talk about dairy farming is always an adventure and after finding my way to Lake Degray in south Arkansas, I did enjoy all that I learned at the Growing Healthy Communities Conference. "Growing Healthy Communities" is described as a movement in Arkansas that involves bringing elected officials,health workers,educators, business leaders and citizens together to turn our communities into vibrant,liveable,healthy environments. Growing Healthy Communities is geared to reversing the public health crisis associated with childhood and adult obesity that is rampant in Arkansas. (http://www.arkansasobesity.org)

Before I gave my presentation, I learned about a variety of ways communities in Arkansas are meeting the public health challenges such as:
  • Increasing access to healthful foods by developing community gardens or opening farmers markets
  • Increasing the opportunity for physical activity by increasing sidewalks,trails and influencing physical education in schools and preschools
  • Enhancing policies that foster health
  • Improving worksite wellness
  • Organizing for change

So, how does a dairy farmer support a healthy community? In my opinion, dairy farmers support healthy communities by:
  • producing a nutrient-dense,economical food.
  • providing funding for research and development of products to meet consumers' needs.
  • providing funding  for and implementation of Fuel Up to Play 60 to involve children in making healthy food choices and being physically active for life long healthy habits.
You can find information about Fuel Up to Play 60 at http://www.midwestdairy.com or http://www.fueluptoplay60.com

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