As an opportunist, I continually seek for chances to interact with leaders and educators that can influence and mold my future. So, when I was given the opportunity to select an optional rotation, during my dietetic internship, I took advantage of the situation and decided to come back to my home state of Idaho, interacting with leaders at the Idaho Dairy Council (IDC) who are making a difference closer to home.
I grew up surrounded by farmland in St. Anthony, Idaho, and became familiar with farming. My grandparents raise beef cattle, I worked multiple years during potato harvest season, and watched as my dad interacted with dairy farmers as the plant manager of Nelson Ricks Creamery in Sugar City. I remember having an endless supply of beef, potatoes and cheese.
So as you can see, my roots in Idaho run deep. I am a recent graduate from Idaho State University with a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. My passion for nutrition developed when I was young, I enjoyed working in the garden, creating and experimenting with healthy foods and recipes. In college, I developed an understanding of the important role nutrition plays on healthy living and wanted to share my new-found knowledge with others. Last spring, I was matched to a coordinated dietetic internship as a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University and intern at the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland Ohio. I have been looking forward to my optional rotation experience, as I knew I would be interacting with influencers that can impact and shape consumer nutrition in Idaho, as well as come home for a visit.
Throughout my visit with the IDC I have been able to see the positive energy and loyalty the staff has for this organization, farm families, producers and the dairy industry. I have been able to work closely with the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist’s, as they educate consumers, teachers, and other health care professionals. The health and wellness team provides multiple opportunities for learning and growth. Educational materials are available which provide information on the nutritional benefits of incorporating dairy products into a healthy lifestyle.
My two week internship has been quite unique as the IDC has been undergoing multiple changes to positively impact the dairy industry in Idaho. Throughout my visit I had the opportunity to interact with multiple individuals and organizations such as:
- Academic departments from the University of Idaho
- Touring Beranna Dairy Farm and Meadow Gold dairy processing plant
- Promoting National Dairy Month on a local television station
- Attending multiple meetings with the Health and Wellness team as they educate local leaders on the nutritional benefits of increased consumption of dairy and physical activity
What an amazing two weeks!! During my time with the IDC, I have recognized that this organization plays an important role in shaping the lives of future leaders, families, community members and health professionals. It has been a great experience working alongside this team as each member truly enjoys their work, and is determined to improve the dairy industry in Idaho. The opportunities and experiences I have had with this organization will stay with me throughout my career.
Growing up in Idaho and having a connection with Idaho dairy farmers and producers, it is great to see how this organization is truly giving back and looking to enhance and improve the dairy industry in Idaho. The IDC recognizes the importance that the dairy farmers and producers play in this vital role and are striving to gain meaningful relationships with each individual involved.
I would like to thank the IDC for this wonderful opportunity. Idaho dairy farms are run by families and the Idaho Dairy Council welcomed me back to my “dairy roots” and included me as part of their dairy family. I am truly grateful for my time spent with this organization and the influence they have made. I am excited to see what the future holds for the IDC as it looks to enhance Idaho’s dairy’s industry and improve nutrition throughout the state.
By: Keisha Angell, Dietetics Intern