sealPurdue News

September 22, 2000

Extension campaign offers nutrition info for families

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Does your dog eat better than your kid?

That's the question posed on billboards along I-65 between Lebanon, Ind., and Indianapolis, and also on I-70 between Plainfield, Ind., and Indianapolis. The billboards, which feature a girl with a lollipop, a dog, and the question, were placed by Purdue Extension administrators to encourage people to contact Extension for information on foods and nutrition and other topics.

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"The message is that a dog's diet has been scientifically formulated to provide proper nutrition for dogs. Unfortunately, it is not so simple for children," said Bill Evers, Purdue Extension foods and nutrition specialist. "With busy schedules and all kinds of good-tasting foods to eat, parents aren't always sure kids are getting all the nutrients they need."

Steve Cain, Purdue Extension communication specialist, said the billboards also provide a toll-free phone number for people to call to get more information on family nutrition. "Getting people to call us and ask for foods and nutrition information is the goal of the billboard campaign. We are testing the idea in the Indianapolis area to see if it works."

Cain said the billboard idea grew out of comments from Purdue Extension educators who say providing a healthy diet for busy families is a common concern for many parents. When people call 888-EXT-INFO (888-398-4636), they can talk to an educator about foods and nutrition issues.

The need to promote Extension came about when a survey of 5,000 people who use Extension information and services suggested more people should know about them.

"More than a million times per year, someone asks for information of Purdue Extension educators and specialists during meetings, office visits, via the Internet or on the phone," Cain said. "Most of those questions come from our traditional audiences, who are familiar with Purdue Extension. We want more people to know about us."

In addition to foods and nutrition information, Purdue Extension provides information about agriculture; the environment; youth, family and community development; and consumer issues.

Sources: Bill Evers, (765) 494-8546

Steve Cain, (765) 494-8410;

Writer: Beth Forbes, (765) 494-2722;


This billboard, which stands along I-65 near Lebanon, Ind., was placed by Purdue University Extension in an effort to increase awareness of nutrition issues. (Agricultural Communication Service Photo by Tom Campbell.)

A publication-quality photograph is available at the News Service Web site and at the ftp site. Photo ID: Cain.billboard

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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