The American Dairy Coalition hopes the expansion of more varieties of milk to school lunch programs will not only provide a key source of nutrition for children across the nation, but also develop a new generation of milk drinkers in an age when fluid milk consumption is in decline. In the past decade, fluid milk sales have fallen about 13 percent and the price of milk paid to farmers has dropped nearly 40 percent over the last four years. Without access to additional markets for their product, dairy farmers are going out of business at an alarming rate. To reverse the decline, the American Dairy Coalition is asking dairy farmers to support the School Milk Nutrition Act.
“Milk is such a vital part of a child’s diet, we must ensure children have access to a wide variety of dairy products during the one part of the day we can directly impact their diet — school lunch. Milk is the No. 1 source of nine essential nutrients. It is important we protect their access to that nutrition during the school day,” says Walt Moore, president of the American Dairy Coalition.
Providing additional markets for dairy producers is key to preserving and protecting an industry that consistently provides consumers with the highest-quality dairy products available at an affordable price. The U.S. dairy products industry supports nearly 3 million total jobs, generates more than $38 billion in direct wages and has an overall economic impact of more than $620 billion, according to the International Dairy Foods Association.
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen a 10 percent decline in school milk consumption in recent years as a result of removing low-fat flavored milk from school menus. Our bill will positively impact the quality of children’s diets while supporting our local family dairies,” said Rep. Courtney said in a press release.
The dairy industry provides jobs at feed mills, dairy manufacturing plants, construction companies, genetic companies, milk haulers, dairy plants plus much, much more. Farmers across the nation work hard to provide food for dinner tables across the country — it’s time we work hard to protect their livelihood too.
The American Dairy Coalition is urging all dairy producers, allied businesses, and employees of the dairy industry to reach out to their federal legislators and ask them to support the School Milk Nutrition Act of 2019.