NFL player extols dairy’s benefits at Idaho school

Former NFL player Marcus Trufant competes in a milk bottle stacking contest at Heritage Middle School in Meridian, Idaho, as part of the Fuel Up to Play 60 effort sponsored by the dairy checkoff and the NFL. Some players will wear cleats with a Holstein pattern on them this weekend.

Ten National Football League players will showcase their passion for the dairy industry’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program during games played on Dec. 8 through the NFL’s “My Cause My Cleats” campaign.

The campaign allows players to publicly highlight the causes that are most important to them through personalized designs and messages on their cleats. Ten players, including eight who serve as Fuel Up to Play 60 ambassadors, have chosen to feature their commitment to the program, Dairy Management Inc., stated in a press release on Tuesday.

Fuel Up to Play 60 was created 10 years ago by dairy farmers through their checkoff program and the NFL to improve health and wellness in schools across the country.

“It’s great to see these players put their passion for Fuel Up to Play 60 and children’s health and wellness priorities on full display,” said Marilyn Hershey, a Pennsylvania dairy farmer and chairman of Dairy Management Inc.

All 32 NFL teams are involved with Fuel Up to Play 60, and more than 2,000 players have taken part in events at schools involved in the program.

Players will display Fuel Up to Play 60 messaging and logos or Holstein-patterned prints on their cleats. They will share images of their cleats and information about their cause on their social media channels ahead of the games using the hashtag #mycausemycleats.

The players who have chosen Fuel Up to Play 60 as their cause are: Justin Pugh, Arizona Cardinals; Nate Ebner, New England Patriots; Justin Simmons, Denver Broncos; Morgan Moses, Washington Redskins; Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers; DJ Reader, Houston Texans; Harrison Phillips, Buffalo Bills; Jerome Baker, Miami Dolphins; Mitchell Schwartz, Kansas City Chiefs; and Dontrell Hilliard, Cleveland Browns.

The NFL is producing television spots that will air during game broadcasts and highlight players’ causes. The 49ers’ Breida will be included with a message on the importance of youth health and wellness.

The spots will also be shared across the NFL’s social media channels, and the checkoff will share information via its Twitter and Instagram properties @FUTP60

Players will have the opportunity to raise money for their cause by auctioning their cleats off at

Since its creation in 2010, Fuel Up to Play 60 has awarded more than $48 million in grants to improve school wellness — increasing milk use in schools by 1.2 billion pounds, DMI stated.

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