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2017-12-05 / Academics

Faso Pushes and Wins: Milk Important Part of Students’ Diets

By Rosie Cunningham

Washington, D.C. - Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook) pushed for and won increased flexibility in incorporating milk into children’s diets in cafeterias.

In late April, Congressman Faso led a letter to Secretary Purdue urging the Department to provide schools with more flexibility in offering flavored milk as part of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

Additionally, Congressman Faso serves as a cosponsor of the bipartisan H.R. 4101 – the School Milk Nutrition Act of 2017, legislation that would allow schools to offer low-fat flavored milk.

The state of New York produced 14.77 billion pounds of milk in 2016, which resulted in a gross farm income of $2.5 billion for New York Dairy Farmers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision to give schools increased flexibility in offering low-fat flavored milk as part of National School Lunch and Breakfast programs.

“This is great news for our schoolchildren and our dairy farmers here in New York,” said Faso. “Low-fat milk, including flavored milk, is an important part of a child’s diet and we should do what we can to promote consumption of this nutritious option. I applaud Secretary

Purdue’s decision, which will encourage more choice for our parents and schoolchildren while removing burdensome regulatory barriers for New York dairy farmers.”

Local agriculture and dairy industry officials also weighed in on the new guidance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“USDA’s interim final rule allowing schools to serve flavored 1% milk is a positive step for America’s school children. Milk is important for a healthy diet, and milk fat is good for children,” said Dairy Promotion Order Advisory Board member Barbara Hanselman. “More importantly, in order for children to drink their milk, they need choices including flavored milk with 1 percent fat. With this change, more children will drink their milk instead of not taking it or throwing it away. I’m one of America’s dairy farmers, and farmers feed people. The released changes are a step forward for America’s school children to eat and enjoy the foods they are fed at school.”

“It’s a nice win, it moves more milk off the market,” said Delaware County Farm Bureau President

Duane Martin. “It is essential to incorporate milk into the diet rather than soda and high sugar juices.”

Martin commended Congressman Faso for his efforts on the agriculture committee and his involvement in the Delaware County.

“I commend his work when it comes to agriculture,” he said. “I think he truly understands the issues and is working for area farmers in Delaware County.”

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