As we begin our activities for fiscal year 2018, I’m pleased to provide the results of my 100-day plan and the many activities that IDFA, our members and industry colleagues have taken this year.
When I joined IDFA last October, I decided meeting with people on the IDFA team was my first priority. I assured staff members that I respect their many accomplishments and want their perspective on ways to make the association even stronger and more effective in the future. It’s clear that IDFA’s success starts with having our “A” team on the field with a clear vision and commitment to delivering outcomes for members.
My second priority focused on IDFA members and the value they derive from membership. As part of my plan, I’ve traveled the country to meet with board officers and visit their facilities. This listening-and-learning tour laid the foundation for the broad member survey we conducted in March to make sure we’re providing excellent value to all members.
In my conversations with members, I heard accolades for the professional expertise of the IDFA staff as well as concerns about challenge areas that will need concentrated effort from IDFA going forward. The issues rising to the top are food safety regulations, exports and international trade, school milk offerings and the farm bill, so we’ve been drilling down on these and will continue to do so in the coming year.
I also heard a nearly universal request for continued and increased industry collaboration, which dovetailed perfectly with the focus of the third priority in my plan. We needed to strengthen relationships and expand joint efforts with external stakeholders and coalition partners to accomplish our goals, and I’m pleased to report that we’ve done just that in many instances. Our efforts included building relationships with policy makers in the Congress and the administration of President Donald Trump with much success to date.
We’re also making keen progress on our fourth and final fourth goal, namely to ensure operational excellence at IDFA to meet growing member needs.
Our members and other dairy stakeholders can count on IDFA to take strategic actions now that will provide opportunities for enhanced prosperity and growth in the years to come. You can learn more about our efforts on key issues here and throughout the IDFA website.
I look forward to working with you as we move forward on our plans for fiscal year 2018. Don’t hesitate to call me or any members of the IDFA team when you need our help or counsel.
Michael Dykes, D.V.M.
President and CEO