Accessibility to Dairy in Schools and USDA's Organic Transition Initiative
**Almost 50 million children are returning to public schools, and a group of dairy and nutrition advocates encourage parents and policymakers to remember dairy.
They say when it comes to the health of students, milk and dairy products need to be more accessible during the school year.
The group released a fact sheet pointing out milk is the top source of calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and vitamin D in kids ages 2-18.
**Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced details of a $300 million investment in a new Organic Transition Initiative to help build new and better markets and streams of income for farmers and producers.
According to the USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service, the number of non-certified organic farms actively transitioning to organic dropped nearly 71% since 2008.
Through this initiative, USDA hopes to reverse the trend, expanding direct consumer access to organic foods.
**The Inflation Reduction Act, recently signed by President Biden, adds funding to several agricultural conservation programs.
Economist, Bart Fischer, with the Ag and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M, tells www.agfax.com, most of the distribution of the funds is left to the USDA, so we’ll have to see how they implement the program.
Fischer notes the funding is short-lived and will run out midway through the next Farm Bill, in fiscal year 2026.