Governor Jack Dalrymple Joins Students, Program Advisors, North Dakota Dairy Princess and Dairy Farmers to Pledge Support of Fuel Up to Play 60 and School Wellness Initiatives

Governor Jack Dalrymple
Governor Jack Dalrymple signed a pledge for Fuel Up to Play 60 as part of a statewide commitment to helping children achieve better nutrition and fitness for life. From left are Dalrymple; Char Heer, Midwest Dairy Association; North Dakota First Lady Betsy Dalrymple; Doug Goehring, agriculture commissioner; Dr. Wayne Sanstead, state superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction; and Joyal Meyer, director of Coordinated School Health.

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple pledged his support to the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, an in-school health and wellness program that encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve 60 minutes of physical activity every day. The Governor joined Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring; Superintendent Dr. Wayne Sanstead from the Department of Public Instruction; Director of Coordinated School Health, Joyal Meyer; students from Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center in West Fargo, N.D.; program advisors from Valley City Junior/Senior High School in Valley City, N.D.; North Dakota dairy farmers; the North Dakota dairy princess; and members of Midwest Dairy Council to sign the symbolic pledge.

At the pledge signing, the Governor praised the progress achieved to date by North Dakota students and indicated the program is a positive next step toward helping North Dakota students achieve pathways to better nutrition and fitness for life. "Fuel Up to Play 60 is a valuable in-school program that makes kids' health and wellness as important as the ABCs," said Governor Dalrymple. "The program is designed to instill in our young people the benefits of leading healthy lives and to empower them to make good lifestyle decisions."

Launched by National Dairy Council and the National Football League, with additional partnership support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Fuel Up to Play 60 has motivated more than eight million students in 70,000 schools nationwide, including more than 87,500 students in North Dakota, to be healthy, get active and make a difference. Today, about 320 schools across North Dakota are designated Fuel Up to Play 60 Schools.

The Fuel Up to Play 60 program is a direct response to dairy farmers' concerns that many children in North Dakota are overweight and undernourished. "As dairy farmers, we have always cared about legacy and the importance of passing on a better future to the next generation," said dairy farmer Jerry Messer of Richardton, N.D. "To date, the dairy community has awarded more than $30,000 in funding to North Dakota schools to help jumpstart and champion school wellness efforts."

Any school in North Dakota can enroll in the free program, thus becoming eligible to apply for funds to help increase awareness of and access to nutrient-rich foods and physical activity opportunities for students. As part of Fuel Up to Play 60, schools can receive a free Quick Start Resources kit with planning tools and in-school collateral materials to help them implement healthy eating and physical fitness plans. The program, now in its second year, also encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. The ultimate goal is to ensure changes made at school are sustainable and to provide children with more opportunities to be physically active and choose nutrient-rich foods.

Fuel up to Play 60"I take pride in my involvement with our school's Fuel Up to Play 60 program and assisting our school as we move towards making healthier lifestyle choices. Through our team's role modeling and involvement in activities, programs, and contests we have helped our school grow into a healthier environment by giving kids more options on how to stay healthy and active throughout their whole life. I thank Governor Dalrymple for recognizing and supporting what Fuel Up to Play 60 has to offer and the benefits this program has on our future generation." said Trevor Bakalar, a Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor at Valley City Jr./Sr. High School in Valley City, N.D.