(Washington, D.C. — September 2, 2008) The International Dairy Foods Association has named Robert G. Blaufuss to the position of economic analyst. In this role, Blaufuss will support IDFA Chief Economist Bob Yonkers and help to analyze domestic and international market trends as well as economic and trade policies for the dairy industry. Blaufuss replaces John Rutherford, who left IDFA earlier this year to join Sorrento Lactalis, Inc.
Blaufuss recently received a Master of Science degree in agriculture and consumer economics at the University of Illinois. His master's thesis focused on risk management, a topic playing an increasingly important role in the dairy industry as it seeks to temper the volatility in pricing for milk, fuel and other commodities. He also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture economics at North Dakota State University.
While attending the University of Illinois, Blaufuss worked as a graduate teaching assistant and led discussions in an undergraduate course, "The World Food Economy," under the direction of Dr. Robert Thompson, a renowned agriculture policy economist. Blaufuss also conducted analytical research for Thompson and wrote reviews on topics such as the role of crop insurance and the effect of federal policies on agricultural land values.
During his undergraduate years, Blaufuss worked in Washington, D.C. as a summer intern for U.S. Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND). In this position, he researched agriculture policy initiatives, focusing on the United States' role in international trade agreements.
He also spent many years working on his family's 500-acre grain and hog farm in Brenkenridge, Minn. Blaufuss now lives in Arlington, VA.
"We're pleased that Rob has decided to return to D.C. and join IDFA," Yonkers said. "With his obvious interest in agriculture policy and international trade, Rob certainly will be a welcome addition to the our legislative affairs and economic policy group."
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 530 companies representing a $100-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI), and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85% of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States. IDFA can be found online at www.idfa.org