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Stacy Foster, Industry Relations and Communications Manager for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council
Stacy Foster, Industry Relations and Communications Manager for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council
Stacy Foster Selected to Manage Oregon Dairy Industry Relations (Photo) - 11/02/17

With more than a decade of experience leading farm tours for thousands of students, teachers and parents at a nationally recognized Oregon dairy, Stacy Foster knows a thing or two about dairy farming. That background will serve her well as the new Industry Relations and Communications Manager for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council.

In this position, Foster will serve as the primary liaison with Oregon's dairy industry and affiliated agricultural organizations. Working with Oregon's dairy farm families, industry leaders and others, she will promote the growth and advancement of the dairy industry in the state and surrounding region. Foster succeeds Melinda Petersen, who joined Dairy West in Meridian, Idaho, as Producer and Community Relations Manager.

Foster was selected through a competitive recruitment process. In addition to possessing a strong dairy background, she has a degree in communications from Corban University and is an experienced homeschool instructor. She created the tour program for Rickreall Dairy from the ground up and recently began offering fall tours in addition to her spring visits.

"After leading farm tours for the past 10 years, I have discovered a passion for Oregon's dairy industry and the families that make this community thrive," said Foster. "I look forward to working together to continue building on positive messages about dairy farming and its products."

Foster was recently honored by the Oregon Department of Agriculture as a recipient of the Farm to School Award. The award recognizes individuals and organizations that go 'above and beyond to strengthen the relationship between kids, schools and food that's being locally produced.' Amy Gilroy, Farm to School Manager, presented the award to Foster on the steps of the Oregon State Capitol at a public event called Oregon's Bounty in October. Earlier this year, Rickreall Dairy also won the U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award.

"We are very excited to have Stacy working for dairy in Oregon," said Pete Kent, Executive Director for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. "She brings a strong skill set to the table and possesses a vision and commitment to serve Oregon's dairy farm families."

Rogue Valley Learning Connection Summit
Rogue Valley Learning Connection Summit
Summit Aims to Advance Rogue Valley Health, Wellness, Education (Photo) - 10/24/17

Improving student performance and advancing a culture of health and wellness will be the emphasis for a first-of-its kind summit for the Rogue Valley. A broad spectrum of community leaders are coming together for the Learning Connection Summit at Central Point Elementary School on Thursday, October 26, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This event invites leaders from the private and public sectors to come together and strengthen local networks, stimulate action and support the link between health and education. Discussion will include school and worksite wellness, community nutrition, physical activity and school nutrition innovations.

"Advancing a culture of wellness in the Rogue Valley will help improve student achievement and contribute to the vitality and health of our region," said Cheryl Kirk, Nutrition Instructor for Family and Community Health/SNAP-Ed, Oregon State University Extension. "This will help get our community thinking about what we can all do as individuals and collectively to make a positive difference."

Summit participants will include elected officials, superintendents, teachers, city staff, health system administrators, business leaders and local farmers. All will be asked to commit to advance school and community wellness with time and resources over the next year and beyond. Regional media is invited to attend and cover any part of the event.

This effort was originally prompted by registered dietitian nutritionists from the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. Two years ago, the Council organized a similar gathering in Tillamook. This led to the Tillamook County Commission declaring a "Year of Wellness," yielding positive changes in individuals, businesses, schools and organizations. Following on that success, Umatilla followed suit with a summit of their own.

In addition to the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, the Rogue Valley Learning Connection Summit is supported by Central Point School District, Oregon State University Extension, AllCare Health, Rogue Creamery, and Oregon Department of Education, Child Nutrition Programs.