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Headline News

  • October 11, 2018

    Dairy Delivers® This National Farmers Day

    America tomorrow will celebrate National Farmers Day and the important work of the agriculture industry in communities across the nation. Did you know that in addition to supporting 192,150 jobs in dairy farming, the U.S. dairy products industry helps support 87,700 farmers and other skilled workers in the overall U.S. farming economy? All told, the dairy products industry creates nearly $21.6 billion in wages and $79.8 billion in economic impact for the American farming sector.
  • October 10, 2018

    Members Help to Raise $500,000 for Mount Vernon

    The “Spirit of Mount Vernon” heritage dinner and rare spirits auction held this week on the lawn of Mount Vernon raised more than $500,000 for the preservation of the historical home of George Washington and the site’s educational programs. IDFA and its members have supported the event for 8 years, and Mount Vernon has raised more than $5 million in support of its mission. Co-sponsored by IDFA and 17 other trade associations, the event featured an expansive assortment of cheeses, as well as heaping scoops of vanilla ice cream, donated by IDFA members.
  • Mariano Lozano, CEO of Danone North America, and Beth Ford, President and CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc.
    October 10, 2018

    Dairy Forum Talks from the Top to Feature CEOs from Danone NA, Land O’Lakes

    How are leading dairy CEOs positioning their companies to succeed? Join your colleagues at Dairy Forum 2019, Jan. 20-23 in Orlando, Florida, to hear two dairy company CEOs talk about leading in today’s uncertain and challenging market. Beth Ford, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc., and Mariano Lozano, CEO of Danone North America, will share their companies’ pledges to consumers and farmers and explain how they are meeting market demands, building brands and finding ways to deliver profits.
  • October 10, 2018

    EPA’s Risk Management Program Rule Goes into Effect

    The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2017 Risk Management Program Amendments (RMP) rule went into effect Sept. 21 when a federal court rejected the administration’s efforts to delay its implementation. The regulation requires some dairy facilities to develop plans to avoid chemical accidents that include steps for preparedness, information sharing and coordination with emergency responders. The administration is working to finalize changes that would amend several of the 2017 rule’s requirements, a move that IDFA supports. Until those changes are final, however, IDFA encourages affected members to evaluate their plans and prepare for the current rule’s compliance dates.
  • October 09, 2018

    Washington Weekly: Cheese Executives Discuss Tariffs; US, Japan Set Terms on Trade Talks; Farm Bill Discussion Continues

    Washington Weekly is IDFA’s update curating policy news from the nation’s capital. During IDFA’s strategic fly-in last week, cheese company executives called for an end to U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs and resulting retaliatory tariffs on U.S. cheese. Also, the United States and Japan are preparing for their first round of trade talks, and top agriculture congressional leaders are continuing farm bill negotiations.
  • Fly-in participants with Ted McKinney, USDA undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs (center).
    October 04, 2018

    Cheese Company Leaders Hit Capitol Hill, Call for Critical Trade Action

    A coalition of executives from U.S. cheese companies arrived in Washington, D.C., this week to meet face to face with top administration and congressional leaders. They thanked the administration for the new trilateral trade pact with Mexico and Canada announced this week but stressed that any gains won’t be realized unless American steel and aluminum tariffs, and the resulting retaliations on U.S. cheese exports, are lifted. The leaders also called for proactive trade actions that would defend U.S. companies’ use of common cheese names abroad and secure bilateral trade agreements with key countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Additionally, they urged lawmakers to pass legislation that would ensure that “natural cheese” retains its historic meaning.
  • October 02, 2018

    Washington Weekly: United States, Canada and Mexico Agree to Trade Pact; 2014 Farm Bill Expires; Kavanaugh Hearings Raise Stakes for Senate Elections

    Washington Weekly is IDFA’s update curating policy news from the nation’s capital. This week the 2014 Farm Bill expired, but most major programs, such as those for nutrition and crop insurance, are not due to expire until Dec. 31. Developments in the confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh, Supreme Court nominee, raise the stakes for upcoming Senate elections, and the United States, Canada and Mexico released the text of its trilateral agreement.
  • October 02, 2018

    December to Bring Action on IDFA’s Federal Funding Priorities

    The president last week signed into law five of the 12 federal spending bills needed to fund the government. The remaining seven appropriations bills are currently being funded by a continuing resolution, a temporary extension that will end on Dec. 7. One of the bills operating under this continuing resolution is the Agriculture Appropriations bill. IDFA believes that when Congress replaces the temporary extension with a new Agricultural Appropriations bill, it will include dairy funding priorities, which are $1.5 million dedicated to finding ice cream waste solutions and $3 million for the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling for standards of identity.
  • October 02, 2018

    Sneak Peek: Program Preview for Sweetener Colloquium

    The International Sweetener Colloquium will return to Florida in 2019. Co-hosted by IDFA and the Sweetener Users Association, the event will be held Feb. 24-27 at the Turnberry Isle Miami, where key players from all sectors of the global sweetener industry will gather to discuss the current environment, challenging issues and the future of the industry. The flexible meeting format will encourage formal and informal discussions and collaboration, while a host of presentations on timely topics will highlight dominant trends and issues affecting the sweetener industry. Read on for a sneak peek at a few sessions.
  • September 28, 2018

    US and Japan to Enter Trade Pact Talks

    President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Abe yesterday announced plans to begin trade negotiations for a bilateral agreement. Agriculture will be included in the talks, but the leaders said they will cap market access at levels negotiated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which included concessions for tariffs on American butter, cheese, lactose, milk powder, whipped cream and whey. “We will urge the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to negotiate for greater market access levels for dairy,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “This is a positive development as both sides are now back to the negotiating table.” The Japanese market is U.S. dairy’s fourth-largest, representing sales of more than $290 million last year.
  • September 28, 2018

    FDA Solicits Feedback on Plant-based Beverage Labels

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced it is seeking public comments on how consumers use plant-based beverages, as well as how they understand terms like “milk” or “cheese” when the terms are used to label products made from soy, peas or nuts, for example. IDFA is now gathering feedback from its regulatory committees to determine a response. “IDFA appreciates FDA’s efforts on this topic, which is a high priority to the dairy industry,” said Cary Frye, IDFA senior vice president of regulatory affairs. “We need the agency to provide clarity, ensuring that plant-based products are labeled so as to not mislead or confuse consumers.”
  • September 27, 2018

    IDFA, Member Companies Honor Sen. Hoeven for Service to Ag Industry

    IDFA and several member companies hosted a fundraiser for Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., to honor his work on behalf of the agriculture industry. The members were Abbott Laboratories, General Mills, Inc., the Kraft Heinz Company, Schwan’s Company and Wells Enterprises, Inc. “Through two farm bills and as chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, Sen. Hoeven has been a critical leader for agriculture and dairy policy interests,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO.
  • September 26, 2018

    The 2014 Farm Bill is About to Expire; Now What?

    The 2014 Farm Bill will expire on Sunday, Sept.30. Despite this looming deadline, it is highly unlikely that Congress will pass a new farm bill before the current one expires. IDFA members may have questions about how this lapse will affect current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs. The short answer is: It depends. Some programs covered by the farm bill are permanently authorized, such as crop insurance and funding for nutrition programs. However, there are 39 smaller USDA programs that were authorized by the 2014 farm bill that will lose funding effective Oct. 1.
  • September 26, 2018

    IDFA Shares Priorities for Bioengineered Foods Rule with White House Officials

    IDFA continues to stress dairy industry priorities to officials who are working to finalize the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. Last week, IDFA subject matter experts spoke with several administrators from the White House Office of Management and Budget who are currently reviewing the proposed standard. “IDFA has consistently urged the administration to finalize a rule that is transparent to consumers, non-disparaging to biotechnology and flexible enough to allow dairy foods processors to easily understand and comply with the labeling standard,” said Cary Frye, IDFA senior vice president of regulatory affairs, who led the discussion with OMB.
  • September 26, 2018

    US-IDF Team Readies US Dairy for Spot on Global Stage

    The U.S. National Committee of the International Dairy Federation (US-IDF) held its annual fall meeting last week in Rosemont, Illinois, to discuss U.S. priorities on international scientific and regulatory issues. The group will present these priorities and suggested actions in IDF meetings with other national committees held in conjunction with the World Dairy Summit, held Oct. 15-19 in Daejeon, South Korea. Cary Frye and John Allan of IDFA hold leadership positions in US-IDF and IDF. They attended the meeting and presented on the priority topics of interest to IDFA members.
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