Wow, 100 years and still going strong! As President of National Dairy Council (NDC), I am so proud to be part of an organization that has been helping promote health and wellness for a century. We’ll be kicking off our centennial celebration during June Dairy Month with activities that celebrate how far we’ve come and lead us into the next century. Having firsthand knowledge of all the work NDC has done for nearly the past 20 years, I am extremely optimistic about what NDC and its health and wellness professional partners, state and regional dairy councils, farmers and the dairy community can do to find solutions for the health of people, communities and the planet in the future.
Let’s take a look at NDC from the past, present and future, because you can’t move ahead without learning from, and building on, the past.
NDC was founded by dairy farmers in 1915 and has worked for a century on behalf of the dairy community to provide science-based education about the nutrition and health benefits linked to dairy foods. In fact, NDC was founded on the groundbreaking research of Dr. E.V. McCollum, who first made the scientific connection between dairy foods and good health. Dr. McCollum’s insights provided a reason to fortify milk with vitamin D.
NDC collaborated from the beginning to share science-based information on the role of dairy foods in supporting child health and wellness, which helped with the development of programs such as the USDA’s School Lunch Program (founded in 1929).
Today, NDC continues its foundation in science through a continued focus on health and wellness, child nutrition and well-being, and alleviating food insecurity —in partnership with organizations and individuals who share common goals around building a better tomorrow.
We raise awareness about how school meal programs, which include low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt, not only help provide regular access to better nutrition — starting with breakfast — which has been linked to better performance in school, but also help address food insecurity.
We also partner with the National Football League in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Fuel Up to Play 60, a unique in-school nutrition and physical activity program that reaches more than 73,000 schools and 11 million students across the country.
And to further address nationwide food insecurity, we’ve partnered with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Feeding America to find solutions to end hunger.
As we move into the next century, we will maintain our core and expand to help better connect people to where food comes from by focusing on the intersection of agriculture, nutrition and sustainability.
NDC is proud of its efforts and progress, but there’s more to be done and we can’t do it alone. Our children’s health and wellness as well as the future of our planet depend on it! So, please join me in a toast: Cheers to the past 100 years and here’s to the next 100! We will be sharing lots of content starting now and throughout the year with key celebrations at SNA’s ANC and AND’s FNCE. Join the conversation by using #NDC100.