Faso’s Efforts Lead to Victory for NY Dairy Farmers

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Washington, November 30, 2017 | comments

Washington DC – Today, Congressman John Faso applauded 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 Perdue’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.

“This is a win for New York’s dairy industry,” said New York Farm Bureau Vice President Eric Ooms. “Our farmers have long been a source of nutritious milk options for America’s schoolchildren. Secretary Perdue’s decision is a common-sense step to ensuring New York farmers remain competitive and in a positive to thrive.”

"Milk consumption is an essential part of every child's diet. By easing regulations and allowing for low-fat flavored milk, we can ensure our children have access to desirable options,” said Columbia County Farm Bureau President Jim Davenport. “Furthermore, unfettered access to markets is critical to the health of the dairy industry. Knowing that we can ensure a strong New York dairy industry while also providing nutritious options to students is a win-win situation and I am pleased the USDA agrees.”

“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 and ADANE Promotion Board Member Barbara Hanselman. “More importantly, in order for children to DRINK their milk, they need choices including flavored milk with 1% 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.”

The interim rule was announced yesterday and can be found on the Federal Register’s website by clicking here. Pending final approval, the rule will go into effect for the 2018-2019 school year.

Background

In late April, Congressman Faso led a letter to Secretary Perdue 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 co-sponsor of the bipartisan H.R. 4101 – the School Milk Nutrition Act of 2017, legislation that would allow schools to offer low-fat flavored milk.

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