Midwest Dairy Podcast Releases Two New Episodes, Highlights Dairy Nutrition

Stepanie Cundith

Two new episodes of Midwest Dairy’s podcast, Dairy on the Air, have been released, sharing conversations between CEO Lucas Lentsch and guests Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings player, and Julie Yurko, CEO of the Northern Illinois Food Bank. More information about the two episodes are below.



Episode 11: Developing Future Leaders


Much like dairy farmers who are committed to youth programming and providing safe and nutritious products to consumers of all ages, Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver, discusses his constant commitment to nutrition, training and youth development.

Thielen describes the partnership between the NFL and dairy farmers as success because, "dairy farmers' goals are the same goals as ours: to help educate, help inform, help make this world a better place and to start with our youth…they are going to be our leaders someday." He describes his own journey to success, pointing out that he did not know about the benefits of proper nutrition at a young age, and explains that his passion for helping kids stems from his desire to make sure that "kids don't make the same mistakes I did."

One of the many ways Thielen gives back to youth is through his foundation, which aims to equip kids to reach their full potentials in life.

Tune in to hear more about:

  • Nutrition and exercise as an anchor in Thielen's professional and personal life.
  • Thielen’s passion for building the leaders of tomorrow on and off the field.

Episode 12: Delivering Dairy to Families in Need

Dairy is the one of the most requested items at food banks, yet is one of the least donated food items. Julie Yurko, CEO of the Northern Illinois Food Banks joins Lucas Lentsch to discuss how the Milk2MyPlate program provides milk and other dairy products available to families in need.

The Milk2MyPlate program is a bid to purchase model that provides a consistent supply of milk to food bank. It was spearheaded by the Northern Illinois Food Bank, that distributed 5 million gallons of milk in the first two and half years. Staff were inspired after overhearing two gentlemen discuss pouring water over cereal when they did have milk.

"That just floored me," says Yurko. "We know our neighbors want it [milk] and need it, and we are working diligently every day to get healthy groceries for our neighbors."

Since then, the Milk2MyPlate program has expanded beyond the Northern Illinois Food Bank to 60 food pantries in the Feeding America network. This year alone, over 133,000 gallons of milk have been distributed thanks to the program.

Yurko and Lentsch also discuss:

  • How Midwest Dairy supports the Milk 2MyPlate program through refrigeration grants to increase the availability of fresh dairy products.
  • The tough choices families in need are making each day.
  • The impact of making dairy products available to children and families.

Dairy on the Air is a monthly podcast — hosted by Lucas Lentsch, Midwest Dairy CEO, and produced by Midwest Dairy — that features relevant conversations impacting the dairy community. Find all episodes online at MidwestDairy.com or on podcast platforms including iTunes, iHeartRadio.


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