The Iowa Dairy Story-Educating Youth about Dairy in their Diet

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension
Iowa State University

Extension Lead(s)
(name, position, counties served, contact information)

Dan Lane, ISU Extension Youth Specialist, Region 4
1417 N Franklin St. Manchester, IA 52057

Iowa Dairy Story Coordinator-
Lynette Anderson,, Region 4 Youth Coordinator

Region 4 CYC’s-
Kristi Fahey, Sarah Hoeft, Patrice Holthaus, Tammy  Muller, Michele Kelly,Kaitlin Hanson, Tracy Scharper, Joni Bruvold.

Jennifer Bentley, ISU Extension Dairy Field Specialist
Allamakee, Bremer, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard, Mitchell, Winneshiek
325 Washington Street, Suite B, Decorah, IA 52101

Your Position


POW #and Team

­­­­­_____100 Corn and Soybean Production and Protection
­­­­­___x__ 110 Dairy
­­­­­_____ 120 Farm and Business Management
­­­­­_____ 130 Horticulture: Commercial and Consumer
­­­­­_____ 140 Iowa Beef Center
­­­­­_____ 150 Iowa Pork Industry Center
­­­­­_____ 160 Natural Resources and Stewardship
_____170 Pesticide Applicator Training
_____180 Other ANR Programs

ANR Priority(select all that apply)

­­­­­___x__Global Food Security and Hunger
­­­­­_____Regional Food Systems
­­­­­_____Natural Resources & Environmental Stewardship
­­­­­___x__Food Safety
­­­­­_____Sustainable Energy – Biofuels &Biobased Products
­­­­­_____Climate Change

Title of Success Story

The Iowa Dairy Story-Educating Youth about dairy in their diet

Continuing Story

___x__ No                ___  Yes(If continuing, what story?)

Knowledge Areas:(USDA categories)

Global Food Security and Hunger
Food Safety

Desired Changes

Learning – Iowa youth (3rd, 4th and 5th grade) increased their knowledge aboutthe importance of dairy products in a healthy diet.
Actions –Young people now have the ability to make better decisions in their eating habits, thereby reducing childhood obesity.

(Why is it important to address this issue with education? What are the desired changes?)

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends three daily servings of low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products for those ages nine and older.  On average, Americans are currently consuming about 2 dairy servings a day.  Educating youth about adding one more serving of dairy can help fill some nutrient gaps.

(Outputs: activities, numbers reached, publications, products)

The Iowa Dairy Story curriculum ( 8 lesson plans) and field trip to Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation has reached 10,800 students, primarily 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders since it started in 2000.  In the classroom, they learned about all aspects of dairy, from how milk is produced to how it gets to the grocery store.  The day of the field trip, students were provided with interactive information on the value of dairy products in a healthy diet and a journey of how green grass becomes milk in their glass.


RESULTS(Outcomes:  specific changes that occurred in Learning, Actions,Conditions; how outcomes were measured)

In the spring of 2011, 297 out of 800 participantsof the Iowa Dairy Story took part in an online survey prior to learning the 8 lesson plans and taking the tour.  After the curriculum was complete, 216 participants took part in the same online survey to measure change in behavior.  Knowledge areas that were increased based on survey were; the importance of nutrients contained in dairy products on human health and awareness of the process of how milk is produced on-farm and in grocery stores within a few days.

Public Value (now or future)
(Impact:  Who benefits beyond participants and how?  What conditions changed?)

Children who drink milk at home and with school meals have a better nutrition profile than those who do not.  With three servings of dairy foods daily as recommended in MyPyramid and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, health care professionals, school nutrition professionals and teachers have an opportunity to provide and encourage choosing these healthful foods at home and in a school setting including school breakfast and lunch, vending machines, concession stands.


Major Partners or Collaborators

Iowa State University Extension and its county Extension Councils, Northeast Iowa Community College, and the Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation

Where story took place
(Region, campus, multi-regional)

Region 4

Fiscal Year


Multi-state or Integrated(Ext + Research)


Funding Source





Page last updated: August 25, 2011
Page maintained by Julie Honeick,