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The US House needs to vote on getting whole milk back into schools

Several years ago when whole milk was removed from our schools, I started an effort to have whole milk placed back in our schools.

I soon realized that this was going to be a real struggle. Right from the start it became obvious that the majority of people had no idea this was an issue. I made several trips to Washington DC to gain support for our effort but I soon realized that many of our efforts were in vain.

Both some US Senators and US members of Congress took a lackadaisical approach toward doing anything about placing whole milk back in our schools. They seemed to think that everyone has full access to whole milk, but this is not true.

Everyone’s friend, U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Howard, introduced legislation twice to have whole milk be available in all of our schools, both flavored and unflavored. The bill is named HR 1861.

But, what about the remaining farm organizations supporting the effort of Congressman Thompson?

I hope that Farm Bureau, with their large membership, would accelerate their effort to have whole milk placed again in our schools. The PA Farm Bureau was instrumental in helping us to get the premium on milk in Pennsylvania.

What about Farmers Union? They always said they were in favor of family farms. Let’s have them support GT Thompson’s efforts.

I thank Nelson Troutman and his followers for his valiant efforts in their attempt to pass HR 1861.

What about the national and state Granges? Let’s have your members make many calls to Congress all across the country!

Why hasn’t the National Family Farm Coalition asked their members to make calls in support of this Congressional bill?

There are still other organizations who should be speaking out in support of this whole milk option bill. Listen, just talking and writing stories about the bill will not end up having the bill passed.

We all must work together to get this important job done. Remember even if Thompson’s bill is going to pass, it still must be brought out of the House Education and Labor committee.

So far Chairman Robert Scott, D-Virginia, has shown no interest in this bill. Chairman Robert Scott must be convinced to bring the bill to a full House vote.

In the past, some Pro-Ag members have called upon 90% of the members of this committee.

With visitors not allowed into any Federal buildings in Washington, you must be calling these members of Congress on the telephone and urging them to bring this bill named HR 1861 up for a vote.

Arden Tewksbury is manager of Progressive Agriculture Organization, based in Meshoppen

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