Republican senator Mitch McConnell put forward a bill last week that would not only drive up milk consumption in schools, but also ensure sales figures rise for the milk industry.
Endorsed by both the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the International Dairy Food Association (IDFA), senator McConnell - as majority whip, the second ranking Republican in the US Senate - introduced 'The Child Nutrition Improvement Act of 2003', which sets out to amend the National School Lunch Act.
"This important legislation could provide great benefits for the health of our young people while simultaneously strengthening the viability of dairy producers throughout the United States," said McConnell.
Applauding the senator's move, IDFA executive vice president Connie Tipton said: "Milk has had a central role in the school lunch program since its inception in 1946, and for good reason."
The thrust of the bill is a drive to improve children's calcium consumption, which has fallen in recent years, and to ultimately boost overall bone health. In addition, an opportunity for the milk industry to boost sales figures impacted by a loss in market share to alternative beverages.