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Webinar 2018 Midterm Webinar: Dairy Outlook for New Congress
December 11, 2018 | 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. EST 

Please join members of IDFA’s legislative advocacy team for a preview of the new Congress and the outlook for dairy policy issues on Capitol Hill.  During this webinar, IDFA’s legislative experts will identify new and returning Members of Congress who could affect our policy priorities, and explore the dairy policy issues that key House and Senate committees may consider next year.


Michael Dykes
Michael Dykes
President and CEO
International Dairy Foods Association

Michael Dykes, D.V.M., a long-time government affairs strategist, agricultural policy expert, and veterinarian, became president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association in January 2017. In this role, he represents members that make more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States.

Since joining IDFA, Dykes has been a strong advocate for the importance of global competitiveness to the future of the U.S. dairy industry. He has made preserving trade partnerships with Mexico and improving Canadian market access for U.S. dairy exports in all future trade agreements a priority for IDFA.

Prior to assuming his role at IDFA, Dykes served as vice president of government affairs for Monsanto, where he was responsible for developing and implementing a portfolio of U.S. government relations strategies and programs that included agricultural biotechnology policy. He led Monsanto's office in Washington, D.C., and served as the company's primary point of contact for elected officials, regulatory authorities, U.S. farm organizations, key industry participants, trade associations, international organizations and embassies. He directed the company's efforts in state and local government affairs, in addition to government affairs in Mexico and Canada.

Dykes is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Academy of Practitioners. He has served on the Farmhouse Fraternity board for 3+ years. He is also a member of the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and has served on the USDA Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21).

Dykes grew up on a small dairy and tobacco farm in Kentucky. He earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Auburn University. He also attended the University of Kentucky where he received a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics and a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science.

Dave Carlin
J. Dave Carlin
Senior Vice President, Legislative Affairs and Economic Policy 
International Dairy Foods Association

J. David Carlin leads the association's legislative, political and economic policy activities. He was a partner with the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP until joining IDFA and has extensive experience in food and agriculture policy. Carlin has represented numerous food and agricultural companies, cooperatives and trade associations before the House and Senate Agriculture Committees and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

After graduating from Harvard Law School, Carlin joined Akin Gump in 1988. In 1995, President Bill Clinton appointed him to serve as Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations under Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman at USDA. As head of the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations, Carlin served as the primary USDA liaison with Congress and the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. He returned to Akin Gump in 1998 to focus his practice on public law and policy matters. His interest in agricultural and public policy began on the family dairy farm founded by his grandfather in 1940.

Tony Eberhard
Tony Eberhard
Vice President, Legislative Affairs 
International Dairy Foods Association

Tony Eberhard joined the IDFA team in May 2017. He works with members on policy development and legislative strategy while advocating for dairy foods companies and the dairy industry before the Congress and the Administration. Before joining IDFA, he was the deputy chief of staff and legislative director for Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) and guided the senator's legislative agenda, overseeing efforts on the farm bill, biotechnology labeling issues, immigration reform and White House budget negotiations. 

Before that, he was a senior principal responsible for legislative affairs at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and also worked as a staff member to Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), then ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Eberhard also was deputy legislative director and then acting legislative director for Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), where he established the senator as a leader on agricultural issues with a focus on dairy and rural development.

Eberhard began his career on Capitol Hill in the House of Representatives, working first for Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) and then Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO). He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo.

Beth Hughes
Beth Hughes
Senior Director of International Affairs 
International Dairy Foods Association

Beth Hughes is responsible for supporting the association's efforts on international trade and import and export issues. She also oversees IDFA's trade committee, as well as programming for the annual International Sweetener Colloquium. In collaboration with other dairy and food industry associations, Hughes has worked with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to promote and protect U.S. dairy interests in free trade agreements and held briefings on Capitol Hill about the importance of preserving the use of common food names. 

Before joining IDFA, Hughes served for five years as manager of international policy for the USA Rice Federation. She developed and implemented international trade policy and promotion activities to support the U.S. rice industry and help small- and medium-sized U.S. enterprises in overseas export markets. She also analyzed domestic and international rice trends and prepared comments relating to non-tariff and technical barriers, such as sanitary and phytosanitary barriers.

Hughes earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science at George Washington University and received a Master of Arts in international affairs from Florida State University.

Colin Newman
Colin Newman
Manager, Legislative Affairs & Political Programs 
International Dairy Foods Association

Newman is responsible for managing the association’s Political Action Committee (PAC) and grassroots advocacy activities. He also assists IDFA in organizing member visits to congressional offices in Washington, as well as congressional visits to member companies’ plants.

He comes to IDFA from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where he served as the manager for corporate relations. Before that, he worked at Morgan Meredith & Associates, a fundraising firm on Capitol Hill, where he fundraised for members of Congress, PACs and nonprofits. Newman also led a grassroots effort as a field director for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney during Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. Newman earned a bachelor’s degree in management at Gettysburg College.

Donald Grady
Donald Grady 
Manager, Legislative Affairs  
International Dairy Foods Association

Grady will advocate for IDFA’s legislative policies and objectives with policymakers and other stakeholders, as well as assist with developing IDFA’s legislative goals and strategies.

He comes to IDFA from the office of U.S. Representative Jim Costa (D-Calif.) where Grady served as a legislative assistant. He coordinated and managed all legislative efforts and constituent services related to the agriculture industry and the House Agriculture Committee. Before that, he was a legislative correspondent for U.S. Representative Jim Marshall (D-Ga.). Grady earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Denison University.


Registration fees for this webinar are based on your company's IDFA membership status. For more information about membership, please email

Member Fee: $0
Non-Member Fee: $195

Cancellation Policy

No registration refunds will be granted after December 4, 2018. Substitutions may be made without penalty. All cancellations and substitutions must be received in writing at

If you have questions or need assistance with the registration process, please contact IDFA at (202) 220-3557 or

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