Pennsylvania Dairymen's Association: Bringing Whole Milk Back to School Menus

“Offering students a choice of whole milk and whole, flavored milks like chocolate milk, the popular refuel beverage of so many athletes, is supported by Pennsylvania farmers all across our state, the home of the second-largest number of dairy farms in the country.  Our world class, delicious and nutritious dairy products should be allowed in schools.  Not only is milk essential to a healthy diet and for our growing youth, but it also fuels a student with nine essential nutrients and vitamins all day.

We support Representatives Owlett and Lawrence‘s latest legislation that allows whole milk back into our schools and applaud their leadership, along with that of Congressman Thompson and Senator Toomey. We have lost an entire generation of milk drinkers due to the federal government’s 2010 mandate that only skim milk could be served in schools. The skim milk-only mandate hurts our kids, hurts our farmers, hurts our economy, and hurts the state’s largest sector of our #1 industry.”

Legislation background

Pennsylvania State Rep. John Lawrence, R-Chester/Lancaster and Clint Owlett, R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter have introduced H.B. 2397 to allow Pennsylvania schools to purchase whole or 2% milk from Pennsylvania’s dairy farms and once again sell the milk to students. Since the 2010 federal mandate, milk consumption among our youth is trending down. In fact, according to the PA Milk Marketing Board, consumption is down 35%.  With PA Dairy being an economic driver that contributes $12.6 billion annually to the state economy, the skim milk mandate has impacted the economy and farmers. Federal regulations enacted in 2010 eliminated flavored milks as well as requiring schools to use skim milk in schools.

PA Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson, along with Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-New York, introduced the “Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2021” that would allow schools to offer whole or 2% milk. U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced the “Milk in Lunches for Kids (MILK)” Act to also allow schools to serve whole milk and two percent milk.


Dairy Facts

  • Milk is the official beverage of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania is home to more than 5,430 dairy farm families.
  • Dairy contributes to $12.6 billion in annual revenue for Pennsylvania.
  • PA ranks 2nd in the nation for the number of dairy farms and 7th in total milk production nationally.
  • One 8-ounce serving of whole milk delivers 13 essential nutrients including 8 grams of protein.
  • According to the Americans, individuals ages 9 and older should consume three servings of milk, cheese or yogurt each day; those ages 4-8 should consume 2½ cups per day.
  • Every one cow supports $24,000 in annual economic revenue in Pa.
  • Every 10 cows support one job in the state. 

About Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association:

The Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association is the oldest dairy group in Pennsylvania. The Dairymen’s Milkshake is the top-selling, sought-after “PA Preferred Product” at the Food Court. The Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association has been supporting “Fill a Glass with Hope®” with agriculture partners, Feeding PA, the American Dairy Association North East, the PA Dairy Promotion Program, corporate partners and food banks since 2015. Over the past four years, the PA Dairymen have donated more than $1.4 million to programs including The Calving Corner; the Fill A Glass with Hope® fresh milk campaign for neighbors in need; the Choose PA Dairy consumer education and awareness campaign; the PA Farm Bureau Mobile Ag Education Lab that travels to schools; and the PA Dairy Princess and Promotion Program. Their philanthropic efforts build a brighter future for all Pennsylvanians. For more information, visit​​