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Dairy Facts 2016

USDA’s Top Trade Official to Headline International Sweetener Colloquium

Dec 05, 2017
Ted McKinney, Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, USDA

Ted McKinney, the first undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will deliver the keynote address at the International Sweetener Colloquium, Feb. 11-14 in Orlando. McKinney is the administration’s top official charged with advancing U.S. agricultural export interests and a key decision-maker when it comes to USDA’s actions under the U.S. sugar program.

McKinney will provide an inside look at the administration’s views on the current trade agenda and how USDA is addressing issues facing sweetener users and producers.

“Current activities in the Trump administration and Congress could have significant implications for the sweetener sector and companies that use sugar in their products. Now is the perfect time for us to hear from Ted,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, who has known and worked with McKinney for more than 20 years. “He will certainly help us better understand the administration’s views on the current trade agenda and USDA’s role in addressing issues facing the U.S. sweetener sector.”

First Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Ag Affairs

Ted McKinney was confirmed in October as undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, a position established by the 2014 Farm Bill. McKinney is responsible for coordinating USDA’s efforts to open new markets, protect current ones and support USDA’s interagency relationships with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

McKinney was appointed head of the Indiana Department of Agriculture in 2014 by then-Governor Mike Pence, who now serves as vice president. He also served as director of global corporate affairs for Elanco. Prior to that, he served as leader of the U.S. food chain and state government relations at Dow AgroSciences.

McKinney grew up on a family farm in Tipton, Indiana, and earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University.

Trends, Issues and Opportunities

For more than 35 years, the International Sweetener Colloquium has gathered key players from all sectors of the global sweetener industry to provide a dynamic look at the policies, politics and public perceptions that are driving today’s sweetener industry.

Co-hosted by IDFA and the Sweetener Users Association, the event will be held at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando. The event will offer in-depth analyses of international, U.S. and Mexican sweetener markets, as well as discussions on the trends, issues and opportunities facing the industry today.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

For more information, contact Melissa Lembke, IDFA manager of meetings and educational services, at

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