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Statements & Speeches

  • April 18, 2018

    IDFA Commends House Ag Committee on Approving a 2018 Farm Bill with Shared Solutions for Dairy

    The House Agriculture Committee today approved H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018. IDFA thanked Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, and members of his committee for approving a farm bill that includes key provisions for dairy. IDFA worked closely with the National Milk Producers Federation to unite behind shared solutions that are reflected in the bill. “We’re hopeful that our collaborative efforts will help to smooth the ultimate enactment of a farm bill that offers enhanced risk management options for dairy processors and producers and establishes a retailer incentive program in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, that includes fluid milk,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO.
  • March 01, 2018

    IDFA Applauds Confirmation of Gregg Doud as USTR’s Chief Agricultural Negotiator

    IDFA released a statement by Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, regarding the confirmation of Gregg Doud as the chief agricultural negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). “We welcome Gregg’s experience and expertise as the United States works to preserve the critically important dairy export market in Mexico, increase meaningful market access in Canada and seek new opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region,” Dykes said.
  • Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA President and CEO
    February 08, 2018

    IDFA Applauds Policymakers for Including Assistance to Dairy Farmers in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018

    Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, commended policymakers for including assistance for dairy farmers in the bipartisan budget bill currently under consideration by Congress. “The package will eliminate a $20 million cap on livestock insurance, allow new policies tailored to dairy farmers to be developed and bolster the Margin Protection Program,” Dykes said. “This effort sets us up to tackle the 2018 Farm Bill, due September 30, efficiently and effectively. It is a win for the dairy industry as a whole, and we are grateful to the members of the House and Senate who made it happen.”
  • February 02, 2018

    IDFA Welcomes Progress on Gregg Doud’s Confirmation as USTR’s Chief Agricultural Negotiator

    Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) yesterday released his hold on the nomination of Gregg Doud as the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) chief agricultural negotiator. IDFA released a statement welcoming the move. “We need a strong voice for agriculture and hope the Senate will move forward on his confirmation quickly,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “Preserving the dairy export market in Mexico, gaining greater market access in Canada and initiating bilateral trade agreements with markets in the Asia Pacific region are critically important to the continued growth of the U.S. dairy industry.” Sen. Flake, who instated the delay last November over some proposed changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), removed the hold after securing agreements on parts of the trade pact with USTR. Doud will now have to be approved by the full Senate. A date for the confirmation vote has not been announced.
  • January 23, 2018

    Dykes Opens Dairy Forum with Blueprint for Building Demand, Opening Markets

    Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, addressed more than 1,000 dairy processors, producers, suppliers and other stakeholders on Monday at Dairy Forum 2018 with a look back at his first year at IDFA and an overview of the association’s efforts to build demand and open markets for dairy products. He continued his call for increased collaboration across the dairy industry, as well as in the broader food and beverage sector, to emphasize the significant impact that dairy and the food industry have on the U.S. economy.
  • Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA President and CEO
    January 18, 2018

    IDFA Commends Sponsors of Bill to Preserve 'Natural Cheese' Term

    Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joined Congressman Billy Long, R-Mo., to introduce legislation today to codify a definition of the term “natural cheese” within the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, released a statement thanking the senators and congressmen for introducing the bill, which would allow cheese makers to continue using the term on their products. “We appreciate the senators’ and congressman’s leadership to ensure that the term natural cheese retains its historic meaning,” he said.
  • Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)
    January 16, 2018

    IDFA Applauds Congressional Efforts on New Guest-worker Program for Agriculture

    The International Dairy Foods Association issued the a statement by Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, regarding “The Securing America's Future Act,” which was introduced last week by Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.). The act aims to reform legal immigration programs in part by creating a new agricultural guest-worker program for America’s farmers and ranchers. “We appreciate the leadership of Rep. Goodlatte on the guest-worker program for agriculture and his willingness to consider the unique needs of our industry."
  • January 08, 2018

    IDFA Commends Trump Administration for its Focus on Rural Workforce Development

    IDFA this week applauded President Donald Trump and his administration for highlighting workforce development as a core pillar of its commitment to bringing prosperity back rural American communities. “Announced at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting today, the administration’s task force recommendations highlight the critical connection between investing in the rural workforce and strengthening American manufacturing,” said Michael Dykes, IDFA president and CEO, in a statement released shortly after. “The President’s additional comments on the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) today seem to indicate a deepening understanding of the critical connection between trade agreements and the farming community, he added. “We are pleased that he is listening and hopeful for positive momentum moving forward.”
  • Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA President and CEO
    July 24, 2017

    ​ IDFA Applauds Nomination of Ted McKinney as USDA Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs

    Last week the White House announced the nomination of Ted McKinney as undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Sam Clovis as USDA undersecretary for research, education and economics. Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO welcomed the announcement. “I have known and worked extensively with Ted for the better part of 20 years and am sure that he will define this important position for our agriculture industry,” Dykes said. He also welcomed Clovis’ nomination as an important step in completing a strong team of leaders at the agency.
  • July 17, 2017

    Key Dairy Priorities Included in Administration’s Renegotiation Objectives for NAFTA

    IDFA and members were encouraged to see several key priorities for the U.S. dairy industry reflected in the administration’s objectives for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. “We strongly support the call for renegotiation, and we look forward to working with the U.S. Trade Representative and others in the administration to preserve the critically important dairy export market in Mexico,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “We are pleased to see efforts to address unjustified measures that unfairly limit access to markets for U.S. goods, such as price undercutting, included in the administration’s negotiating objectives.”
  • July 14, 2017

    IDFA Applauds Nomination of Stephen Censky as Deputy Agriculture Secretary

    Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, today applauded the nomination of Stephen Censky as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “With this appointment, Secretary Perdue is assembling a strong leadership team, he said. “We look forward to working with Steve on several important issues including implementation of flexibility in the school lunch program, expanding agricultural trade and the reauthorization of the farm bill.”
  • June 19, 2017

    IDFA Applauds Nomination of Gregg Doud as USTR’s Chief Agricultural Negotiator

    IDFA applauded the White House decision last week to nominate Gregg Doud as the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s chief agriculture negotiator. “I have worked with Gregg on the Ag Roundtable, when he served as a senior staffer for Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) and as a staffer with the Senate Agriculture Committee under chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS), and know that he will work both with us and for us,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “Ambassador Lighthizer has pledged that agriculture ‘will be front and center’ in any trade deal the U.S. negotiates, including the North American Free Trade Agreement. I can’t think of a better person than Gregg Doud to be on those front lines.”
  • May 11, 2017

    IDFA Welcomes the Confirmation of Robert Lighthizer as U.S. Trade Representative

    Robert Lighthizer was confirmed today by a vote of 82-14 in the Senate to become the new U.S. Trade Representative. “We are committed to working with the Ambassador and other Trump Administration officials to develop and implement an effective U.S. trade policy that increases exports and allows greater market access for U.S. dairy products,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, in a statement congratulating Lighthizer. Dykes welcomed the experience and expertise that the Ambassador will bring to important dairy trade discussions with Mexican and Canadian governments.
  • Scott Gottlieb (Photo courtesy of the American Enterprise Institute)
    May 10, 2017

    IDFA Applauds Confirmation of Scott Gottlieb, M.D., as Food and Drug Administration Commissioner

    Scott Gottlieb, M.D., was confirmed Tuesday by a vote of 57 to 42 in the Senate to become the new commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. “We welcome Dr. Gottlieb’s understanding of the value of engaging all stakeholders to achieve our shared goal of a safe, nutritious and abundant food supply,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “There are a number of issues under FDA purview that impact our members directly, and we believe that under Dr. Gottlieb’s leadership these issues will be efficiently and effectively addressed.”
  • Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue
    April 25, 2017

    IDFA Welcomes the Confirmation of Governor Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture

    “IDFA and our dairy foods company members look forward to working closely with Governor Sonny Perdue in his new role as Secretary of Agriculture,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, in a statement released after the Senate this week confirmed the former Georgia Governor as leader of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Having Secretary Perdue advocating for dairy in the Cabinet meetings with President Trump will be very important to our industry,” he said. “As a fellow veterinarian, I’m confident that Secretary Perdue will bring the necessary knowledge and insight to keep American agriculture, food production and nutrition programs strong and vibrant.”
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