Support Our Farmers; Bring Back Whole And 2% Milk In Schools

Legislative Column by Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C,I-Black River)

I am happy to join my colleague, Assemblyman Chris Tague, in supporting his bill (A.9990) that would allow schools to once again purchase whole and 2% milk produced within the state. Unfortunately, since the Obama administration, students have not had these milk choices, as the administration was aiming to lower childhood obesity and diabetes rates. As these rates have continued to climb in the past decade, this concept seems to have been flawed when it comes to whole and 2% milk. Whole milk is 97% fat free, while 2% milk is 98% fat free.

Farmers in the North Country and the Mohawk Valley have also been shouldered with historic burdens in the last few years. A global pandemic, supply chain issues, over-regulation and the continued push by Majority lawmakers to lower the overtime threshold have all made it harder to run a profitable operation. We can and we should immediately allow our farmers to re-enter the whole and 2% milk market in our schools.

In addition to this ludicrous assertion that healthy and delicious milk is contributing to childhood obesity, the Mayor of New York City and some of his Majority colleagues have embarked on a crusade to eliminate chocolate milk from schools. Some in our area have even floated the idea of eliminating chocolate milk from school lunch menus, a move I stand firmly against. Nearly all of the farms in our district are considered small family-farms, many of which specialize in dairy. Not only is it tone-deaf to think young kids want to drink processed vegan juice for lunch, but it would be an economic deathblow to our local farmers.

One of our neighboring states, Pennsylvania, just recently passed a bill that mirrors that of my colleague, Chris Tague. Join me in supporting our dairy farmers by buying local whole, 2% or chocolate milk in your next trip to the grocery store.

With any questions on this or any other legislative issue, please reach out to my office at or 315-493-3909.