Nov. 3 2011 08:42 AM

To kick off National Farm-City Week, three panelists will discuss the current issues surrounding childhood obesity and school lunches.

National Farm-City CouncilChocolate milk, and other dairy products, has been a highly contested portion of school lunch programs this year. The key concern has been that the extra calories from added sugars are a contributing factor to rising childhood obesity levels.

On November 17, three panelists will share their insight on creating healthier lunch programs in the U.S. The three are part of the "Childhood Obesity: The School Lunchroom Debate" that is being held in conjunction with the National Farm-City Week Symposium.

The public is invited to attend the debate that will be held at the Locust Trace AgriScience Farm outside of Fayette, Ky. The panel discussion, beginning at 11 EST, will be broadcast live on the AgriTalk radio show, as well.

The three panelists include: Kathy Belzer, manager of school programs, with Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc.; Kendall Malory, Kentucky FFA president, with the University of Kentucky; and Michelle Coker, director of childhood nutrition programs, with the Fayette County School System.

The purpose of the symposium is "to explore the issues around childhood obesity in the United States and how it can be managed through healthier choices made available in the school lunchroom."

Here at Hoard's, we will do our best to listen and cover the debate in our blog on Thursday, November 17.