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Headline News

  • June 11, 2019

    IDFA’s Michael Dykes and Beth Hughes Named to USTR Trade Committees

    This week, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced the appointment of 140 private-sector members to the Agricultural Policy Advisor Committee for Trade (APAC) in addition to six members of the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees for Trade (ATAC). IDFA Senior Director of International Affairs Beth Hughes was named to the ATAC for Processed Foods. Additionally, IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes, D.V.M., was reappointed to the APAC. “IDFA is grateful for the honor to serve on these important committees, ensuring that the voice of dairy is reflected in trade and technical discussions,” said Dykes.
  • June 11, 2019

    Call for Proposals: Submit Your Topics for IDFA’s Spring 2020 Meetings ​

    IDFA is excited to announce a new event for 2020 – the Yogurt & Cultured Innovation Conference. The new event will be held in conjunction with our long running and successful Ice Cream Technology Conference, March 31 - April 1, 2020, at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida. IDFA is accepting proposals now for presentations and panel discussions at the new Yogurt & Cultured Innovation Conference, as well as for Ice Cream Tech.
  • June 06, 2019

    Application Deadline for Inaugural NextGen Leadership Program Is June 14

    A few spots remain available for IDFA’s 2019-20 NextGen Leadership Program. This unique initiative is designed to support, guide, and prepare mid-senior level dairy industry professionals ready to take the next step in their leadership journeys. The program will consist of a class of 15-20 IDFA members for a multi-faceted year-long opportunity. Program participation is limited to representatives of IDFA member companies. If you would like to nominate an employee for the 2019-20 NextGen Leadership Class, contact Colin Newman, IDFA manager of legislative affairs and political programs, at He will walk the employee through the application process. Applicants must complete the application and submit materials no later than June 14.
  • June 05, 2019

    In Comments to USTR, IDFA Stresses Trade Pact, Not Tariffs, Best Solution for Dispute with EU

    In response to the World Trade Organization’s finding last May that European Union subsidies for Airbus airplanes adversely affected U.S. airplane manufacturers, the U.S. Trade Representative recently proposed a list of tariffs for EU products, including dairy, and requested public comments on the retaliatory amount. In its comments, IDFA said the escalation of tariffs with U.S. trading partners is causing uncertainty in the market and causing U.S. companies to lose hard-earned market share. Noting that it supports U.S. rights to retaliate against illegal subsidies, IDFA said establishing a comprehensive U.S.-EU trade agreement would be the best solution.
  • June 04, 2019

    House Appropriations Committee Passes Bill with Benefits for Dairy

    The House Committee on Appropriations this week passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill that includes funding for two IDFA priorities: creating a milk incentive program within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and modernizing outdated food standards of identity. The bill also includes language that protects USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) projects from termination, which means the bill continues the $1.5 million in funding for research on new technologies that would help ice cream manufacturers handle production waste, improve sustainability and reduce costs.
  • June 04, 2019

    IDFA Welcomes New Members

    IDFA welcomes Ritchey’s Dairy, Inc. and Weber, Inc., to the membership. Ritchey’s Dairy produces a wide range of dairy products. Weber, Inc., joined as a Gold Business Partner and manufactures slicers for the food processing space, serving artisanal, deli, snacking, cheese and meat-slicing companies.
  • May 30, 2019

    Chobani Visit a Chance to Discuss Trade, Nutrition with Ag Secretary Perdue and Rep. Brindisi of New York

    A yogurt factory in a small upstate New York town was home to a discussion about global trade and retaliatory tariffs yesterday, as IDFA member Chobani hosted Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) for a tour and roundtable discussion with local dairy farmers and agriculture groups. IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes, D.V.M., attended the meeting and gave short remarks at the discussion, thanking Secretary Perdue for demonstrating leadership on trade issues. “You have been our champion,” said Dykes. “We want to thank you.”
  • May 30, 2019

    Dairy Delivers® for Spice Manufacturers

    IDFA continues to demonstrate that the dairy industry has a powerful economic impact – $628 billion in total – on the American economy. Did you know that dairy also indirectly supports spice and extract manufacturing? More than 670 people in manufacturing jobs are producing spices and extracts for flavoring of dairy products, like ice cream, yogurt, and eggnog. All told, the dairy industry creates $69.3 million in wages and over $480.9 million in economic impact for American spice and extract manufacturers.
  • May 29, 2019

    IDFA President Michael Dykes Attends President Trump’s $16B Trade Aid Announcement

    Last week, President Trump authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide up to $16 billion in trade mitigation support for farmers in the wake of retaliatory tariffs from trading partners. IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes, D.V.M., attended the announcement as the sole representative of U.S. dairy, alongside other leaders from U.S. food and agriculture. Dykes had the opportunity to speak with President Trump in the Oval Office about the importance of growing export markets for dairy and discuss the need for fresh milk at the nation’s food banks.
  • May 29, 2019

    Milk Shares Victory Lane Spotlight at Indy 500

    This weekend, with IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes, D.V.M., looking on from the stands, the winner of the Indianapolis 500 continued the tradition of celebrating his victory with milk. From Fort Wayne, Ind., the Kuehnert Dairy Farm provided this year’s winner with his milk prize. The Kuehnert Dairy Farm, a part of farmer-owned Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc., has been operating since the 1890s on the same 1,000 acres in Indiana.
  • May 29, 2019

    Tackling Food Waste, FDA Supports Standard Terminology for Date Codes

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week urged food companies to adopt voluntary standardized terminology for date labeling of food in an effort to help reduce food waste in America. In a letter to the food industry, Frank Yiannas, FDA deputy commissioner of food policy and response, said FDA “strongly supports” using the phrase “Best If Used By” on packaged-food labeling for dates related to optimal quality. Not everyone in the dairy industry will be able to use the voluntary terminology, however.
  • May 29, 2019

    IDFA’s Advocacy for ‘Natural Cheese’ Definition Achieves Action

    The term “natural cheese”’ has been used by the U.S. cheese industry for decades, and one of IDFA’s top priorities is for Congress to include a definition of this term in federal statute to protect against consumer confusion. IDFA came closer to reaching this goal last week when Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) reintroduced the Codifying Useful Regulatory Definitions (CURD) Act in the Senate. It is identical to legislation that the Senate passed late last year by voice vote, but the House failed to pass it before the 115th Congress adjourned.
  • May 29, 2019

    Years of Advocacy Finally Bear Fruit for Yogurt Makers

    The Trump Administration announced last week that it plans to issue a final rule to amend the standard of identity for yogurt and revoke the separate standards of identity for lowfat and nonfat yogurt. IDFA has consistently advocated for updates to the yogurt standards and for a final rule during the past decade, following the release of the proposed rule in 2009. IDFA expects FDA to issue the final rule soon this fall. “IDFA has been a vocal advocate for increasing innovation in our industry, and we have strongly supported updating regulations that will provide a path for continued growth,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA.
  • Cary Frye, IDFA senior vice president (left), worked frequently with Bruce Tharp on ice cream education efforts.
    May 29, 2019

    In Memoriam: Bruce Tharp, President, Tharp's Food Technology

    Bruce Tharp, Ph. D., president of Tharp’s Food Technology and a legend in the ice cream industry, passed away last week at the age of 89. He began his career in ice cream at an early age while working for the family business, Tharp’s Ice Cream, in Shamokin, Pa., and he ultimately achieved international recognition for his technical expertise and insight in the field. In 2006, Tharp received the International Ice Cream Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his decades of work and leadership in the industry. “He was truly a legend who had a brilliant talent for explaining technical issues in an easy-to-understand manner,” said Cary Frye, IDFA senior vice president of regulatory affairs.
  • May 22, 2019

    House FY2020 Agriculture Appropriations Bill Includes $1M in New Funding for SNAP Milk Incentive

    The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, charged with authoring the spending bill for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), unveiled a fiscal year 2020 agriculture appropriations bill yesterday that would provide new funding for a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) milk incentive program. The new program would allow program participants to purchase more milk with SNAP benefits. “Thanks to the work of Appropriations Committee leaders like Congressmen Mark Pocan (D-WI), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), John Moolenaar (R-MI) and Pete Aguilar (D-CA), the bill allocated $1 million for the milk incentive program, formally called the Healthy Fluid Milk Incentives Projects program,” said Tony Eberhard, IDFA vice president of legislative affairs.
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