Midwest Dairy partnered with the University of Illinois (U of I) at Rockford’s Medical School Program to provide nutritional information to the students in the program. The U of I program is the largest rural medical school program in the country and focuses on connecting future doctors to work in rural medicine.
Checkoff was able to create a relationship with the medical school, by working with Schneider Dairy Farms, which has hosted the Medical School on the farm every year for the last few years to give them a tour of the farm and walk them through a farm accident. U of I reported that nutrition is the most significant gap for their students, who receive almost no formal training on the topic. Midwest Dairy was asked to provide a speaker who could help with that gap and would speak to the students before the Dairy farm tour this year.
Checkoff called upon our contact, Michelle Rathman, to speak to the students and create materials for National Rural Health Day for health systems and providers to use to tell the story of where dairy fits in having a healthy diet. Michelle gave students a sneak preview of the materials that they can use when talking to their patients.
The event was well received, and the students voiced their excitement to use the tools and material when telling dairy’s nutrition story.