Contact: Peggy Armstrong
(Washington, D.C. - November 19, 2010) The International Dairy Foods Association, representing the nation's milk, cheese and ice cream manufacturers, supports Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan to become the next chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. This committee will play an important role in the 2010 Farm Bill, which will have a major impact on the dairy industry and IDFA's many dairy manufacturing member companies.
"We welcome the leadership of Senator Stabenow; she knows first-hand the key role that the dairy industry plays in the economies of many communities across our nation," said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO. "We look forward to working with her on dairy policy, nutrition, international trade and other issues of importance to the U.S. dairy industry."
Having served on the agriculture committees in the Michigan legislature, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, Stabenow is well known to dairy processors. Several IDFA members have provided testimony and comments before the Senate agriculture committee, which has jurisdiction over U.S. dairy policies, including the Federal Milk Marketing Order system, nutrition programs and all farm-support programs.
As a legislator from Michigan, Stabenow is no stranger to the dairy industry. Milk, cheese, ice cream and other dairy manufacturing contributes $9.2 billion to Michigan's economy. In addition, dairy manufacturing plants are one of the top Michigan employers, generating almost 22,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to a September 2010 report prepared by Michigan State University. These jobs depend on the continued growth of Michigan's milk production, which currently ranks eighth nationally and represents the largest share of Michigan's agricultural cash receipts.
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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 550 companies representing a $110-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 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States.