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Influential Newsmakers to Headline Dairy Forum Next Week

Jan 25, 2017
Stephen Ostroff, M.D., Acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs at the Food and Drug Administration

More than 1000 attendees will travel next week to IDFA’s premier meeting, Dairy Forum 2017, in Orlando, Fla. With a lineup of national newsmakers, including Stephen Ostroff, M.D., who is the current head of the Food and Drug Administration, and the former heads of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Central Intelligence and National Security Agencies, this year’s event will provide powerful political perspectives just as the new administration takes its first major actions.

“IDFA is very pleased that Dairy Forum attendees will have the chance to hear first-hand from so many influential leaders during this time of political transition,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA.

FDA Acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs

Stephen Ostroff, M.D., who just last week became FDA’s acting commissioner of food and drugs, is poised to share his insights on next steps the industry can expect from the agency and more about the regulatory environment in the new administration. Ostroff will speak on Tuesday, Jan 31.

As the top official of the FDA, Ostroff works to strengthen programs and policies that enable the agency to carry out its mission to protect and promote the public health. Ostroff previously served as FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine from June 2016 to last week. In that role, he oversaw the food and animal health activities of FDA. He also served as acting commissioner from April 2015 to Feb 2016. Before that, Ostroff was the agency’s chief scientist responsible for leading and coordinating FDA’s scientific and public health efforts.

Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is also poised to address dairy leaders in a timely transition to his new career in the dairy industry. Just this month Vilsack announced that after his eight years of service leading the USDA, he will join the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) as president and CEO. He plans to share his perspective on the major issues facing dairy and agriculture including trade agreements, immigration reform and the 2018 farm bill. Vilsack will speak on Tuesday, Jan 31.

As Secretary of Agriculture, Vilsack worked to strengthen the American agricultural economy, build vibrant rural communities and create new markets for innovation in rural America. Under his leadership, USDA supported America's farmers, ranchers and growers, provided food assistance to millions of Americans, carried out record conservation efforts, made record investments in rural communities and helped provide a safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply for the American people.

In his new role, Vilsack will lead strategies and provide oversight of USDEC’s global promotion and research activities. He will also actively work with the USDEC board to create strategies and realize a shared vision for growing the global market for U.S. dairy.

Former Director of CIA, NSA

General Michael Hayden, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, will open Dairy Forum with the Chairman’s Lecture. Hayden will discuss the current tumultuous global environment and share his views on the delicate balance between liberty and security, as well the benefits and dangers of living in a digital world. Hayden will speak on Sunday, Jan 29.

Hayden is a retired four-star general, who has been on the frontline of global change, the war on terrorism and the growing cyber challenge. He was the country's first principal deputy director of national intelligence and the highest-ranking military intelligence officer in the country. He is currently a principal at the Chertoff Group, a global advisory firm focused on security and risk management.

There’s still time to register for Dairy Forum, Jan. 29- Feb 1. Registration is available on the IDFA website, along with hotel information.

If you’re not able to attend Dairy Forum in person, you can register at no cost to watch four featured sessions that will be broadcast live online from Orlando. IDFA and Dairy Foods magazine have partnered to offer these broadcasts on Jan. 30-31 and Feb. 1.

For more information, contact Peggy Armstrong, IDFA vice president of communications, at

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