Krysta Harden, former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has been named Executive Vice President of Global Environmental Strategy of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI). At a time when telling the story of U.S. dairy’s positive environmental contributions has never been more important, Harden will be tasked with driving the dairy checkoff’s environmental sustainability strategy.
“Dairy farmers are the original environmental stewards and by creating this position we will continue to ensure that U.S. dairy is well-positioned to meet the heightened demands of the global marketplace,” said Barb O’Brien, president of DMI and the Innovation Center. “With her background and leadership, Krysta is the ideal person to not only share U.S. dairy’s positive environmental story and progress to date from farm to table but to also chart a path that reinforces the vital role dairy and farmers can and will play in global and sustainable food systems.”
Harden will report to O’Brien and will collaborate with DMI and Innovation Center leadership to define an inspiring vision, strategy and plan forward for U.S. dairy’s environmental commitment. She will also provide executive leadership on the Innovation Center’s Environmental Stewardship Committee. The committee convenes the dairy value chain including farmers to identify priorities, goals and metrics, align on best practices, identify gaps in science and innovation, and develop resources and outreach to accelerate adoption and report progress.
“Coming from a farm family, I’m excited to work on behalf of dairy farmers who have demonstrated for generations stewardship of land, animals and other natural resources,” Harden said. “This is an opportunity to share their story – the 24/7, 365-days-a-year commitment to leaving the land in a better place for future generations. Moreover, it’s an opportunity to work with farmers and the broader dairy community to identify new research, technologies and partnerships that will accelerate and build upon U.S. dairy’s long-standing commitments and positive impact.”
Harden most recently served as senior vice president of External Affairs and chief sustainability officer for Corteva Agriscience, an agriculture division of DowDuPont. Before joining DuPont, Harden spent nearly three years as deputy secretary for Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, helping to shape food and agriculture policy.
Dairy Management Inc.™ (DMI) is funded by America’s nearly 40,000 dairy farmers, as well as dairy importers. Created to help increase sales and demand for dairy products, DMI and its related organizations work to increase demand for dairy through research, education and innovation, and to maintain confidence in dairy foods, farms and businesses. DMI manages the National Dairy Council and the American Dairy Association and founded the U.S. Dairy Export Council and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.
Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® is a forum that brings together the dairy community to address the changing needs and expectations of consumers through a framework of shared best practices and accountability. Initiated in 2008 by dairy farmers through the dairy checkoff, we collaborate on efforts that are important both to us and our valued customers – issues like animal care, food safety, nutrition and health, the environment and economics. The Innovation Center is committed to continuous improvement from farm to table, striving to ensure a socially responsible and economically viable dairy community.