Last month USDA issued a final rule that puts into regulation the improvements to school milk contained in the new Child Nutrition Act. This act became law this summer with the strong support of IDFA and the National Milk Producers Federation.

Specifically, the new USDA regulation removes the requirement that schools must offer the same milk types that were consumed in the previous school year - a clause that stifled a school's ability to offer new products on the lunch line. In its place, USDA has codified the authority for schools to offer flavored or unflavored milk, lactose-free milk, and milk of different fat levels. The effective date of the new rule is July 1.

In addition, the Child Nutrition Act included a provision that gives schools the authority to offer milk at anytime and anywhere on school premises or at school events.