Indiana organizers and participants in the National Football League and American Dairy Association’s "Fuel Up to Play 60" program say the benefits go beyond health. Abby Evans, a student who helped bring the program to Brownsburg High School, says a trip to a dairy farm as part of a national student summit opened her eyes to new options for a career in ag. "At our age, everything’s technology," says Evans, "so to learn about how they’re using technology to benefit agriculture was really exciting."
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue visited Indianapolis Colts training camp Tuesday morning to discuss the United States Department of Agriculture’s role in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.
American Dairy Association Indiana also plays a key role, including awarding more than $160,000 to schools for various nutrition programs during the 2016-2017 school year. More than 1,600 Indiana schools are enrolled in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. The association also sponsors Colts Fit Camps, Big Blue Football Camps and "Be the Best You Can Be" school shows featuring the Colts mascot Blue.
NFL Hall-of-Famer and former Indianapolis Colts star Marshall Faulk also took part in today’s event. He says it’s important to "get them early" when it comes to youth health. He says "young ambassadors" like Evans are crucial to help keep others educated on health and nutrition topics. He says teachers are also key to spreading the message.
"We have some teachers here…they’ve come up with some great programs along with the Fuel Up To Play 60 program to kind of get their kids into it and educate them at an early age so they can then make it ‘the cool thing,’" says Faulk. "When the kids make it cool, it’s cool."