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 most of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts, and dairy-derived ingredients produced in the United States and marketed throughout the world. Since joining IDFA, Dykes has been a strong advocate for putting U.S. dairy at the center of health and wellness, innovation, sustainability, a vibrant U.S. economy, a stable and diverse workforce, and leading the world in global dairy exports. 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 is also a member of the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC), which provides U.S. trade policy advice to the current presidential administration.
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.