The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) recognized five individuals whose careers have positively impacted the trajectory of U.S. dairy. At an annual event called the Celebration of Dairy attended by nearly 300 people in Washington, D.C., IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes, D.V.M., recognized Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Representative Collin Peterson of Minnesota, Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin, and Chief Agricultural Negotiator Ambassador Gregg Doud with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
The annual recognition—the IDFA Leadership Award—is determined by IDFA, which represents more than 450 businesses throughout the dairy value chain from dairy cooperatives to processors and retailers. The IDFA Leadership Award is given to members of the U.S. Congress as well as the current Administration who have shown outstanding leadership and support for U.S. dairy. The event honoring the policymakers was held on Dec. 4 in Washington.
“Dairy is so present and important in our everyday lives—in our homes, in our schools and institutions, and an integral part of our holidays and celebrations—that it’s our duty to stop and give thanks to the many people who contribute to a healthy dairy industry,” said Dykes. “Every day, more than 3 million people in the United States are employed because of dairy. Our industry generates $159 billion in wages and $620 billion in overall economic impact for communities across the country. That sort of impact takes real champions. That’s why IDFA and our members are so pleased to honor these individuals for their tremendous work and unparalleled efforts on behalf of U.S. dairy.”
This year, IDFA has chosen to show its appreciation to those who display outstanding leadership and support for the industry through their work in policy. The recipients are:
- Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI)
- Senator Pat Roberts (KS)
- Representative Collin Peterson (MN-07)
- Representative Ron Kind (WI-03)
- Chief Agricultural Negotiator Ambassador Gregg Doud
The Celebration of Dairy welcomed more than 35 members of Congress as well as key staff, officials from the Trump Administration, and ambassadors and other honorable representatives from trading partner countries. The Celebration of Dairy, IDFA’s annual holiday reception, also showcased an array of gourmet cheeses, eggnog and ice cream products from IDFA member companies, including HP Hood, The Ice Cream Club, Agri-Mark, Inc./Cabot Creamery, Agropur, BelGioioso Cheese, Glanbia Foods Inc., Great Lakes Cheese Co., Inc., Hilmar Cheese Company, Lactalis, Inc., Leprino Foods Company, MCT Dairies, Inc./Old Croc, Pacific Cheese Co., Inc., Saputo Cheese USA, Tillamook County Creamery Association, and Valley Queen Cheese.
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3 million jobs that generate $159 billion in wages and $620 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers. Together, they represent 90 percent of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world.