U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall has crisscrossed the state, visiting farms from Lincoln to Iola. On Aug. 15, he stopped at Miller Dairy in Hutchinson. Marshall grew up on a traditional farm 15 miles north of El Dorado. Feeding calves and milking cows also comes naturally to him, as his grandparents ran a dairy farm just a few miles south the city.

Marshall answered questions from local dairy farmers and toured Orville and Mary Jane Miller’s farm.

”He is very knowledgeable about farming and nutrition,” Orville Miller said. “He really seems to be on top of what we are doing.”

Marshall, an obstetrician, listened attentively to the farmers who had gathered at Miller’s Dairy Farm. There are just under 300 dairy farmers in Kansas.

Melissa Drzymalla, of Le-dr Dairy in Newton, voiced her concerns about getting whole milk into the public schools. Ron Grusenmeyer, the manager of farmer relations for Midwest Dairy, echoed her concerns.

Marshall explained the nutritional benefits of whole milk and drew the farmers a diagram showing how osteoporosis has increased.

“I really am a big fan of milk as a physician and a politician,” Marshall said. “There is an increase in osteoporosis. The only way to prevent this is to get whole milk in the school systems.”

Marshall is also a proponent of nutrition and is a part of the Food is Medicine Working Group, within the House Hunger Caucus. He explained how he wants to start a national institute of nutrition. He said this would give doctors, nurses and school administrators a central place to go for nutritional information.

“It’ll be bipartisan,” Marshall said. “I think it could make a big impact on the cost of health care.”

Marshall commended the efforts of Midwest Dairy’s attention to the national dairy checkoff principles that focus on dairy promotion, nutrition education and research.

During his visit, Marshall toured the Miller’s milking facility and fed a day-old calf.

Miller and his family grow their own grains for feeding their 180 cows and — currently — 170 calves.

“We love having school groups come out and learn about our farm,” Orville Miller said. “We produce a nutrient-rich food in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner.”