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Running — fueled by dairyRunning — fueled by dairy

The first-ever Dairy Dash brings exercise and dairy together in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Sarah McNaughton

September 15, 2023

2 Min Read
milk being poured into a glass
UNDENIABLY DAIRY: The Dairy Dash was a way for Midwest Dairy to share the benefits of dairy products with a fun, youth-centered activity.Jack Andersen/Getty Images

A partnership between Midwest Dairy and 605 Running Co. encouraged participants to lace up their shoes and get running, all while fueled by dairy. The Dairy Dash was part of the inaugural 605 Trail Race and Festival in Sioux Falls, S.D., which hosted both 4- and 8-mile races alongside the Dairy Dash.

About 100 youth participated in the run, with almost 300 runners and guests participating in the dairy-themed festival.

“We partnered with 605 Running out of Sioux Falls for something new,” says Beth Bruck-Upton, vice president of business operations for Midwest Dairy for North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. “They have traditionally done trail races, which were included in this event, but we wanted to add on the 1-mile Dairy Dash that would reach youth in a fun way.”

The Dairy Dash included a destination experience at the finish line, featuring cow mascots, stickers, temporary tattoos, a coloring station and medals for participants.

“This really was a great chance for us to showcase dairy foods — whether it’s milk, cheese or yogurt,” Bruck-Upton says. “Your favorite dairy food can help fuel you to perform with whatever your passion might center around.”

Community outreach

“Undeniable Dairy” is the national dairy initiative to remind consumers of the many reasons to enjoy and trust dairy foods. “We’re always looking at new ways to bring dairy to unexpected place,” Bruck-Upton explains. “Showing up to events like this with partners like the 605 Running Co. is something we look forward to.”

Midwest Dairy worked with a local event planning company and four local influencers to promote the event and spread the good word about dairy, reaching more than 57,000 followers, she says.

“We were able to weave in messaging that can be shared online, and with that partnership, we were able to promote health and the benefits of dairy in training programs,” she says.

The staff at Midwest Dairy spend their year advocating for the dairy industry and its farmers, and Bruck-Upon says they just finished the state fair circuit. “Midwest Dairy has a presence at a number of our state fairs across the 10-state region,” including the fairs in North and South Dakota, and Nebraska, she says.

While no official plans have been made for 2024, Bruck-Upton says the association hopes to bring the event back and make it bigger and better.

About the Author(s)

Sarah McNaughton

Editor, Dakota Farmer, Farm Progress

Sarah McNaughton is a graduate of North Dakota State University, with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture communications, along with minors in animal science and Extension education. She is working on completing her master’s degree in Extension education and youth development, also at NDSU. In her undergraduate program, she discovered a love for the agriculture industry and the people who work in it through her courses and involvement in professional and student organizations.

After graduating college, Sarah worked at KFGO Radio out of Fargo, N.D., as a farm and ranch reporter. She covered agriculture and agribusiness news for North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Most recently she was a 4-H Extension agent in Cass County, N.D., teaching, coordinating and facilitating youth programming in various project areas.

She is involved in agriculture in both her professional and personal life, serving on the executive board for North Dakota Agri-Women, and as a member in American Agri-Women, Sigma Alpha Professional Agriculture Sorority Alumni and Professional Women in Agri-business. As a life-long 4-H’er, she is a regular volunteer for North Dakota 4-H programs and events.

In her free time, she is an avid backpacker and hiker, enjoys running with her cattle dog Ripley, and can be found most summer weekends at rodeos around the Midwest.

Sarah is originally from Grand Forks, N.D., and currently resides in Fargo.

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