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Headline News

  • January 24, 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.
  • (L to R): Michael Dykes, Darci Vetter, Tim Groser and David O'Sullivan
    January 24, 2018

    Ambassadors: Future of US Trade Is Uncertain, but Full of Opportunity

    Although the future of U.S. trade policy is hard to predict, one thing is clear: The future looks bright for countries that are forging ahead and securing new trade pacts, according to a panel of ambassadors at Dairy Forum. Representing the views of the European Union, New Zealand and the United States, the ambassadors discussed the moves their countries are making on trade and what they could mean for U.S. dairy companies.
  • John Newton, Ph.D., Director of Market Intelligence, American Farm Bureau Federation
    January 24, 2018

    Economists Say Industry Needs New Tools to Navigate Changing Economy

    A panel of economic experts convened at Dairy Forum to explore the opportunities and challenges for the dairy industry at home and abroad and discuss the tools dairy leaders need to navigate today’s marketplace. John Newton, Ph.D., director of market intelligence at the American Farm Bureau Federation, and Tom Bailey, executive director of dairy research at Rabobank, offered a cautiously optimistic outlook for dairy in the coming years.
  • Jack Uldrich, global futurist and author
    January 24, 2018

    Futurist Jack Uldrich Says Look to AHA Moments for Growth

    The shutdown of the federal government this week, however brief, forced two Dairy Forum speakers to cancel their plans. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Deputy Agriculture Secretary Steve Censky were unable to attend, but Rep. Goodlatte sent a video message for attendees. Fortunately, Jack Uldrich, a renowned futurist and author, was the perfect replacement to kick-off the conversation about shaping the future of dairy during the Chairman’s Lecture Sunday night. The best way to start, Uldrich said, was to look for big AHA moments through heightened awareness, humility and action.
  • January 24, 2018

    Thank You, Dairy Forum Sponsors and Donors!

    Dairy Forum 2018 drew an impressive crowd of more than 1,000 industry stakeholders for networking, special speakers and dynamic panel discussions. Online viewers in 37 countries also tuned in to featured sessions through Broadcast Live, co-sponsored by IDFA and Dairy Foods magazine. IDFA would like to thank the companies that sponsored events and activities and helped make Dairy Forum a success.
  • January 24, 2018

    Want More Dairy Forum Highlights?

    IDFA will continue to cover highlights from Dairy Forum in next week’s edition of Connect, as well as provide a link to a comprehensive photo gallery. In the meantime, check out the comments and kudos from attendees who shared #DairyForum posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
  • January 24, 2018

    ‘Dairy Delivers,’ IDFA’s Economic Impact Tool, Looks at Tennessee

    The dairy products industry in Tennessee employs more than 17,500 skilled individuals, generates more than $662 million in direct wages and has an overall economic impact of $8.87 billion. The state’s dairy companies ranked 22nd among the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico in contributions to the U.S. gross domestic product in 2017, according to IDFA’s Dairy Delivers.
  • January 18, 2018

    Legislation to Preserve ‘Natural Cheese’ Term is Introduced

    Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joined Congressmen Billy Long, R-Mo., and Ron Kind (D-WI) to introduce legislation today to codify a definition of the term “natural cheese” within the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The definition of "natural cheese" that is included in the bill reflects input from IDFA’s cheese company members. “We commend Senators Johnson and Wyden as well as Congressmen Long and Kind for taking a common-sense approach to this issue, which will allow cheese makers to continue using this simple and longstanding term on their packaging,” said Dave Carlin, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy.
  • Tony Eberhard, IDFA Vice President of Legislative Affairs
    January 17, 2018

    Hill of Beans

    ​The federal government will shut down by the weekend should Congress fail to pass an appropriations bill to fund the government by midnight on Friday, Jan. 19, explains Tony Eberhard, IDFA vice president of legislative policy, in his latest Hill of Beans column. "I’d expect that Republicans will give something to the Democrats to get a short-term continuing resolution, even if it’s just a commitment for further action on one of their key issues," he said, adding that no one will be satisfied. The good news: Debates around the Margin Protection Program and Livestock Gross Margin provisions in a final appropriations bill and a guest-worker program that works for dairy in a larger immigration agreement will resume when the funding bill is passed.
  • John Allan, IDFA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and International Standards
    January 17, 2018

    IDFA Discusses Inspection Concerns with FDA Officials

    IDFA met last month with several top Food and Drug Administration officials, including Dr. Stephen Ostroff, M.D., deputy commissioner of the Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, and Susan Mayne, director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, to share concerns about FDA inspections of dairy food facilities under the new Preventive Controls for Human Food rule. FDA welcomed the opportunity to hear from the industry, according to John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards. “It is clear the agency is looking to be more consistent and efficient in carrying out its duties and IDFA is glad to be able to help,” he said.
  • January 17, 2018

    IDFA, NMPF Oppose Proposed Raw Milk Bill in Virginia

    IDFA and the National Milk Producers Federation sent a letter last week to Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services opposing proposed legislation that would loosen restrictions on the sale of raw milk to consumers in the state. The bill would allow consumers in Virginia to purchase raw milk through herd-sharing ownership agreements. The bill, H.B. 825, also would remove existing regulations prohibiting sales of raw milk for consumption. Creating herd ownership agreements is a loophole that would put vulnerable consumers at risk, IDFA and NMPF said.
  • January 17, 2018

    UDSA Trade Counsel Jason Hafemeister to Headline Sweetener Colloquium

    Jason Hafemeister, trade counsel at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will deliver the keynote address at the International Sweetener Colloquium to provide an insider’s look into USDA’s latest trade policy and actions that affect food companies and sweetener users. As trade counsel, Hafemeister advises Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney on agricultural trade policy. “Hafemeister understands the issues facing the U.S. sweetener sector and, as a counsel to USDA’s top leaders, is uniquely qualified to provide the latest insights into the administration’s agricultural trade agenda,” said Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs.
  • January 17, 2018

    FDA’s ‘Roadmap’ Outlines Future Actions on Key Regulations for Dairy

    The Food and Drug Administration last week released its new Strategic Policy Roadmap, an 18-page report highlighting key priorities and selected areas where FDA wants to achieve results during the next two years. Important to IDFA members, the report outlines FDA’s plans for progress on Nutrition Facts label updates, Standards of Identity, label claims and the Food Safety Modernization Act. “We’re pleased to see many of FDA’s priorities align with areas of interest to the dairy industry,” said Cary Frye, IDFA senior vice president of regulatory affairs.
  • Scott Gottlieb, M.D., Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration
    January 17, 2018

    FDA to Issue Guidance on Voluntary Recall Procedures

    Scott Gottlieb, M.D., commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, recently announced that FDA will issue guidance on food recall communications within the next six months. His announcement followed a report released in December by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health and Human Services that outlined shortcomings in FDA’s process for handling food recalls. “We’re staying closely engaged with FDA officials as they work on the guidance,” said John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards.
  • January 17, 2018

    Can’t Attend Dairy Forum? Engage via Broadcast Live

    Dairy Forum 2018 will bring together a diverse group of industry leaders next week to discuss the future of dairy and ways to take advantage of the opportunities ahead. If you’re not able to attend, you can register at no cost to view two featured sessions that will be broadcast live online from Palm Desert, California. IDFA and Dairy Foods magazine have partnered to offer these broadcasts on Monday, Jan. 22. IDFA also invites members to follow along with #DairyForum conversations on social media for real-time highlights from the event.
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