Rep. Thompson welcomed David Smith to speak before Agriculture Subcommittee Tuesday
On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson welcomed the Pa. Dairymen’s Association Executive Director David Smith to testify on the state of the dairy economy.
Smith appeared before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture. He is a fourth-generation dairy farmer who operates a farm in Central Pennsylvania that grows crops and raises young dairy animals on a contract basis. Smith spoke about the benefits of the 2018 Farm Bill, but also the challenges facing the industry.
Smith also spoke about the benefits of Rep. Thompson’s Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act, which would allow both unflavored and flavored whole milk to be offered in school cafeterias.
“What started as an attempt curb childhood obesity, has done the opposite,” Smith said. “In 2010, Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act which amended nutrition standards in the School Lunch Program and mandated that flavored milk must be fat free within the program. I believe that this led to significant changes in beverage consumption habits of children, and it resulted in a 9 percent decline in milk consumption in schools between 2010 and 2012 — not only impacting students, but dairy farmers.”
“We also need to do more to help encourage new markets for fluid milk, both here at home and abroad through trade,” Rep. Thompson said. “This starts by Congress undoing the needless restrictions on milk varieties within the School Lunch Program and providing schools the option to serve nutritious whole milk once again.”