Pro-Ag members visit Washington D.C.

Arden Tewksbury
Manager of Pro-Ag
Congressman Dan Meuser (PA) center, meets with on left: Brandon Tewksbury, on right: Arden Tewksbury to discuss HR 832, the House bill to allow whole milk in schools, on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 in Washington.

Officials of the Progressive Agriculture Organization (Pro-Ag) met with over 40 members of Congress and/or their staff that make up the House Committee on Education and Labor.

Congressman GT Thompson (R-PA) has introduced a new dairy bill;  HR 832, “Whole milk for Healthily Kids Act of 2019.” The bill has been referred to the Education and Labor Committee. This committee will make the determination if the House of Representatives will be able to vote on the bill.

The Pro-Ag members passed out pertinent information regarding the importance of having whole milk allowed back into our schools, both flavored and unflavored.

According to Arden Tewksbury, manager of Pro-Ag, scores of thousands of consumers are telling us the importance of having whole milk allowed back into our schools. The Pro-Ag member illustrated the number of schools who have passed resolutions encouraging whole milk to be allowed back into our schools.

Tewksbury said, “Can you imagine that we have to beg Congress to allow whole milk in our schools? Everyone must wake up to the importance of whole milk in the full development of our children.

There are several things dairy farmers and consumers must do.

1) Call your local members of Congress and urge them to support whole milk being allowed back into our schools, both flavored and unflavored.  Urge them to contact members of the Education and Labor Committee of the House and urge them to support HR 832.

2) Contact the chairman of the Education and Labor House Committee, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA), his number is 202-225-8351. Urge Chairman Scott to support HR 832 and have the bill reported to the full House. Remember, this bill should not be considered a political issue; this bill is for our children.

3) Contact Congressman Collin Peterson, chair of the House Ag Committee.  Congressman Peterson was an early cosponsor of this bill. His phone number is 202-225-2165.

Also, at the listening session held recently between the House Ag Committee and the Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Congressman Peterson said we must get whole milk back into our schools, both flavored and unflavored. At the same session, the US Secretary of Agriculture said that obesity in our children has gotten worse since whole milk was taken out of our schools and that our children are drinking too many sugary drinks. 

4) Contact the ranking member of the Committee; Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) at 202-225-2071. I’m hoping she can influence the Republicans on this committee.

The latest cosponsors of HR 832 are 16 republicans and 2 Democrats. There should be 75 to 100 cosponsors.

I’ll be working closely with Congressman GT Thompson and the new Congressman Dan Meuser. We had a 45-minute meeting with Congressman Meuser, and he was visibly upset that nothing has been done to help our dairy farmers. Both Meuser and Thompson are part of the Education and Labor Committee.