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Home  |  Our Cause  |  About Us

About Dairy Council of California

Explore the organization’s rich legacy of championing children and community health through nutrition to empower healthier communities.


For more than 100 years, Dairy Council of California has empowered stakeholders to elevate the health of children and families through the pursuit of lifelong healthy eating habits.

As a nutrition education organization, Dairy Council of California is comprised of registered dietitians and nutrition and communication experts who work directly with educators, foodservice professionals, health and wellness providers and community leaders to provide trainings, support and nutrition education resources to teach the importance of nutrition and how to eat healthfully.   These collective efforts educate millions in California and throughout the United States each year. 

Dairy Council of California’s Origins

In 1919, dairymen Sam Greene and Chester Earl Gray witnessed the effects that rickets, a public health concern at the time, had on the health of school-age children, and they wanted to do something. Around the same time, biochemist Elmer McCollum discovered vitamin A in dairy and proclaimed it as a vital life substance, publishing articles advocating for the health benefits of dairy foods in the daily diet. As visionaries, Greene and Gray set out to create a movement to  improve the health of children by educating the public about dairy’s important contribution to health, making milk and dairy foods available to students at school, and providing students and families with access to free nutrition education. Through their foresight and support, Dairy Council of California was formed. 

The dairy community’s philanthropic contribution to community health, supporting nutrition education in school and community settings to help children and families make healthier eating choices.

Funded by California’s dairy farm families and milk processors, Dairy Council of California is a nutrition education organization overseen by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. It is the dairy community’s philanthropic contribution to community health, supporting nutrition education in school and community settings to help children and families make healthier eating choices. 

Since its inception more than a century ago, Dairy Council of California has progressively evolved, and its commitment to elevating the health of children and families through the pursuit of lifelong healthy eating habits has stayed steadfast and strong.

Dairy Council of California believes that milk and dairy foods are part of the solution to sustainably nourish a growing population, and by supporting dairy’s role in healthy eating patterns, all children can be nourished and supported for optimal growth and development.

Our Cause and Values

A leader in nutrition education, Dairy Council of California is committed to elevating the health of children and families in California and beyond through the pursuit of lifelong healthy eating habits, believing: 

  • All children and their families deserve access to nutrition education and healthy foods.
  • Promoting optimal growth and development and reversing childhood obesity are critical to creating healthy communities.
  • Milk and dairy foods are essential to daily healthy eating patterns.
  • Collaboration is vital to ensure children are supported to grow healthfully.

Dairy Council of California believes that milk and dairy foods are part of the solution to sustainably nourish a growing population, and by supporting dairy’s role in healthy eating patterns, all children can be nourished and supported for optimal growth and development.

The organizational nutritionand education philosophiesprovide a framework that define its work and provide the lens through which nutrition and education resources are viewed. Agile and with the health of people in mind, these philosophies are not set in stone; rather, they evolve as the environment, nutrition research and education models evolve, ensuring that the approach to nutrition and resources is relevant, science-based, credible and applicable.    

Dairy Council of California is proud of its rich history of championing children’s health and advocating for nutrition education and agri-food literacy to support community health.

Making a Difference

Dairy Council of California is proud of its rich history of championing children’s health and advocating for nutrition education and agri-food literacy to support community health. The organization’s nutrition services and resources educate millions of children and families every year through key pathways such as schools, health clinics and community resource organizations, teaching individuals how to eat healthfully and support access to healthy, wholesome foods. 

As a leader in nutrition education, Dairy Council of California has an in-house nutrition science team that collects, analyzes and communicates current research and trends on nutrition education and healthy eating patterns. Through this work, Dairy Council of California incorporates and leverages the latest in nutrition science to educate, equip and empower stakeholders with science-based, relevant nutrition information and resources.

Dairy Council of California educates and empowers more than 4 million Californians each year, and more than 100 million since its inception. 

Dairy Council of California actively partners with key health, education and nutrition organizations on collaboratives, initiatives and programs that support nutrition education and food access for children and families.

Collaboration Is Vital

Dairy Council of California believes collaboration is vital to improving community health, and that collaborative efforts can have a larger impact on the health of children and families than any individual organization working on its own. Dairy Council of California actively partners with key health, education and nutrition organizations on collaboratives, initiatives and programs that support nutrition education and food access for children and families. 

In 2018–2019, Dairy Council of California partnered with 37 local, regional and national organizations to convene and prioritize children’s health through nutrition. It also created more than 1,700 nutrition advocates with direct trainings to health, foodservice and community wellness professionals. These trainings educated and equipped influencers and change-makers with the nutrition resources needed to be effective communicators around healthy eating patterns, nutrition education and the importance of milk and dairy foods in supporting the health of children.

Launching Let’s Eat Healthy, A Movement

We believe that collaboration is vital to finding realistic and sustainable solutions that are good for the health of people and the planet. We know we cannot do it alone, but by working together through shared values toward a larger cause of building healthier communities for all, in which nutrition plays a pivotal role, we can make a difference. 

Dairy Council of California is proud to launch Let’s Eat Healthy, a movement that aims to bring together educators, health professionals, change-makers and community leaders to elevate the health of children and families through the pursuit of lifelong healthy eating habits. Let’s Eat Healthy invites multi-disciplinary coordination, collaboration and co-creation to champion community health by teaching and inspiring healthy eating habits and making healthy, wholesome foods accessible and affordable to all.

I was very excited to hear about Let’s Eat Healthy. As a long-time advocate for organizational collaboration, I think the Let’s Eat Healthy movement will be a great platform to share ideas and resources, and collaborate to improve community health.

Niaomi Hrepich, RD, Monterey County Health Department + Monterey County Nutrition Educators

 

The launch of Let’s Eat Healthy is just the beginning. Joining the Let’s Eat Healthy movement can help to ensure: 

  • Children and families have access to nutrition education and healthy foods, including milk and dairy foods.
  • Children have reduced incidence of obesity.
  • Children are supported to grow and be healthful.
  • Dairy is valued as a solution to optimal health. 

Join the movement and help build healthier communities for all today.