Dairy Good Idea

A Dairy Good Idea by Wayne Garden

Dairy Good Idea

The dairy farmers of Nova Scotia, the department of agriculture, and various community sponsors continue to support the Nova Scotia School Milk Program that was initiated in 1974. According to the Agriculture Department, the program’s goal is: “to increase milk availability and consumption of milk in Nova Scotia public schools.”

Schools must be registered under the program and agree to sell 250ml servings at no more than 40 cents Over 90% of the province’s schools, and over 160,000 school age children take part in the milk program yearly according to the department’s website.

The milk program was run as a pilot project in East Hants before being made available to the rest of the province in the mid-seventies. The initiative grew out of a meeting between the Nova Scotia Dairy Producers lead by the late Alfred Scothorn, a dairy farmer from Harwoodlands, and the minister of agriculture at the time, Hants East MLA, Jack Hawkins. Today, Mr. Hawkins recalls that it was his job to sell it to the provincial cabinet. Garnering support was not as easy as one may think, but eventually the naysayers were quieted, and the bill was passed. The milk initiative was so successful that the apple growers of Nova Scotia engaged in a similar arrangement with the department of agriculture and the schools the following year.

Those schools not currently participating in the program may apply in May or June of each year by contacting the Department of Agriculture.