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Over 200,000 music students get the message that ‘winners drink milk’ throughout the year thanks to Indiana dairy farmers’ sponsorship of Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) events. The sponsorship is coordinated by Milk Promotion Services of Indiana. ISSMA holds the finest marching band contest in the nation according to the judges from all across the country who were in Indianapolis for the recent Marching Band State Finals.

While dairy farmers were home milking, their check-off program was working. Milk commercials featuring local dairy farmers were played on the jumbo video boards in the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis during the 12-hour marching band competition. Nearly 30,000 spectators and performers viewed those spots.

Four Indiana high school marching bands won $1,000 scholarships from Indiana’s dairy farmers plus a drink from the victory bottle of milk for their championship performances at the 2010 ISSMA Marching Band State Finals. Each school took top honors in its division. The winners were Avon, Greenwood, Western High School/Russiaville and Springs Valley High School/ French Lick in classes A through D respectively. Each member of each competing band also received an ice-cold pint of Prairie Farms’ white, chocolate, strawberry or Cravélatté milk after their performance. Prairie Farms Dairy donated all the milk served to the band members.

According to Deb Osza, general manager of MPSI, “I’m proud of the students and impressed with their dedication and focus. Each and every one of those band students is a winner.” “Teaching kids the importance of including at least 3 servings of dairy a day in their diets, in addition to physical activity, will help them develop stronger bones and a healthy lifestyle. We want them to learn that when they put good energy into their bodies, they get energy out. We’re working hard to keep milk messages in our schools. Indiana’s dairy check-off program works efficiently and effectively by getting those milk messages in through music education as well as in the classroom and the cafeteria.”

Additional $1,000 scholarships are awarded annually to the state champion schools in concert band, mixed chorus, orchestra and state show choir finals by Indiana’s Dairy Farmers, exclusive corporate sponsor of all ISSMA events.