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NFL players help make dairy connections

April 25, 2023


3 minute read

Midwest Dairy continues to utilize athletic influencers to reach Generation Z and connect with them. Many of the NFL athletes we partner with are highly passionate about nutrition and physical activity programs that encourage today’s youth to lead healthier lives. Because these passions align so well with Midwest Dairy’s goals, these relationships have allowed everyone involved to bring the health benefits of dairy to today’s youth in creative ways.  

For the third year in a row, Midwest Dairy was able to use one of our Fuel Up to Play 60 Player visits to support the Minnesota Ag in the Classroom (MAITC) Farm and Book week in February. Harrison Phillips, defensive tackle, had the opportunity to share the book “Clarabelle: Making Milk and So Much More” by Cris Peterson with students. Harrison tweeted the registration information to his 50,000 followers to create excitement, contributing to 160 classrooms signing up. Harrison loves all dairy foods, which he often shared during the reading as well as recalling many experiences he had while spending time on his grandparents’ dairy farm in Nebraska when growing up.

Due to the multiday snowstorms, many schools were closed on the day of the reading, but Midwest Dairy was happy to have 66 classrooms still participate. Per usual, Harrison brought energy and excitement to the classroom, and the kids were asking more questions than he could answer in the allotted time. MAITC is a great power partner in youth trust with shared values, their established network of teachers across the state, combined with our NFL star power assets, is a strong combination.

Midwest Dairy and the Chicago Bears also recently partnered, utilizing the 2023 Hometown Grant Assembly of $10,000 to create a Girls Flag Football Clinic. This year the Chicago Bears chose Round Lake High School to support, and the grant was used to create intramurals that encouraged the high school Girls’ Flag Football team.

Over 50 girls participated in the clinic, which included 45 minutes of different interactive stations. David Montgomery, a running back from the Chicago Bears, also participated. After the clinic, there was an assembly where Katie Knappenberger, the Sports Nutrition Director for Northwestern University, gave a presentation about proper nutrition for athletes with tips about plates and refueling. Dairy Farmer Katie Vanderstappen also discussed dairy farming and shared that 96 percent of farms are family owned.

The Bears are committed to getting Girl’s Flag Football recognized as a sport and part of the Illinois High School Association, and this was a significant step in that plan. The event received media coverage, and an article was posted on the Chicago Bears website. David Montgomery also did live social media updates during the event to promote further.