Capitol rally calls for bills to support dairy industry

Local

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Under current federal regulations, schools can offer students only unflavored skim or 1% milk for lunch, but a bill in the Pennsylvania Legislature would change that.

“When the guidelines pushed to go to skim milk, what we’re finding is school children may like whole milk at home but they go to school and have skim milk and they don’t like the taste, so they’re not drinking the milk in school,” said Dave Smith, executive director of the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association. 

U.S. Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson is sponsoring the Whole Milk For Healthy Kids bill. He says when whole milk was taken out of schools, milk consumption in schools went down dramatically in the first year and continued to decline for nine years. 

“Milk sales went down and as a result. We also saw a decline in rural economy over the past six years,” Thompson said.

Stacey Copenhaver owns a dairy farm in Lebanon County and has witnessed first hand limiting milk choices. 

“We’re kind of missing and losing a generation of milk drinkers because they aren’t offered the best, most delicious milk product,” Thompson said.

A second bill, the Dairy Pride Act, is sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Joyce and would prohibit milk alternatives such as almond milk or cashew milk from being labeled as milk.

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