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IDFA Hosts Second Membership Briefing of 2019

Jun 27, 2019
Nearly 200 IDFA members participated in yesterday’s Membership Briefing web conference to hear IDFA subject matter experts outline their strategies to address issues affecting the dairy industry. The full webcast is available in the Membership section of Here is a summary: 

President’s Report
Michael Dykes thanked members for their continued support of IDFA. He discussed how IDFA’s work on advocacy, regulatory and communications are the three strategic foundational pillars for delivering value to IDFA’s members. He reviewed with the membership IDFA’s Four Point Focus: operational excellence, relationships, members and people in order to provide the success IDFA members expect for their membership. Dykes continued by previewing key IDFA’s goals for FY2020.

Dairy Forum
IDFA’s chief of staff Heather Soubra invited members to SAVE THE DATE for Dairy Forum 2020 scheduled for January 26-29 at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona. More than 1,000 dairy leaders are expected to convene at Dairy Forum 2020 to explore, discover, and experience the POWER OF DAIRY, our theme for Dairy Forum 2020. The program will include thought leaders, renowned experts and industry leaders who will share their insights and perspectives on a wide variety of topics including leadership, political landscape, global markets, sustainability, animal welfare, trade, cellular agriculture, dairy policy, food safety, and much more. Soubra encouraged members to register and book their hotel early as rooms will be limited at the Westin Kierland Resort. Only registered Dairy Forum attendees will be able to book rooms at the resort. Registration will open on July 9th and a full preliminary program will be available on our website.  

IDFA’s new SVP of Executive and Strategic Communications Matt Herrick gave an overview of the association’s communications goals and objectives, as well as an update on the newest members to join his team. IDFA recently hired Jennifer Martin as director of communications. Martin served in a similar role recently with the Fertilizer Institute in Washington. Herrick also reported that IDFA has hired Michael Goodin as manager of digital and multimedia content. Goodin comes to IDFA from the Heritage Foundation. Both will begin on July 8th. The IDFA website will also undergo a redesign in 2019, with the goal of transforming the site into a base for advocacy, knowledge sharing and best practices for the IDFA community. IDFA will choose a firm to manage the redesign, as well as a brand refresh by July 12th with the goal of having the website finalized and live by early December. Herrick also previewed several communications campaigns, including Dairy Delivers. 

The legislative team updated briefing participants on IDFA’s current advocacy initiatives. Dave Carlin, SVP of legislative affairs and economic policy, reported that a bill defining the term “natural cheese” was reintroduced in the Senate in May. Donald Grady, IDFA's manager of legislative affairs, then reviewed the dairy provisions that IDFA hopes will be included in the child nutrition reauthorization bills that may be considered by the Senate Agriculture and House Education and Labor Committees later this year. Tony Eberhard, VP of legislative affairs, noted that the House agriculture appropriations bill includes funding that IDFA sought for ice cream waste research, standards of identity modernization and the new SNAP milk incentive program. Beth Hughes, senior director of international affairs, explained IDFA’s ongoing efforts to secure congressional ratification of the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement later this year, as well as the status of the administration’s negotiations with China that will hopefully result in the lifting of Chinese tariffs on U.S. dairy products. Finally, Carlin reported on the work of the IDFA economic policy committee to identify incremental steps that might be taken over the next two years to improve the functioning of the Federal Milk Marketing Order system. 

The regulatory team covered four key updates. Cary Frye, SVP of regulatory affairs, reported on successful outcomes from the 2019 National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments to consider changes to the Grade “A” milk regulations. Overall the NCIMS passed 38 proposals that advance food safety, allow for inspection efficiencies and studying new technologies. Frye reported on IDFA’s efforts with FDA on standards modernization. IDFA is advocating for a horizontal approach and asking for action on the pending yogurt petition and a future request for microfiltered milk for cheese. Frye also provided an update on the USDA Bioengineered Food Disclosure standards and explained IDFA’s recourses for compliance with the new rules and GMO absence claims. Michelle Matto shared information on the process underway to update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2020. She explained IDFA’s strategy to protect recommendations for three servings of dairy a day and request considerations of a variety of fat levels.

Finance & Events
Neil Moran, SVP of finance, administration & trade show, provided a wrap-up report of ProFood Tech 2019 held this past March and shared goals and preliminary plans for ProFood Tech 2021 scheduled for April 13-15.  

IDFA’s next Membership Briefing will be held on October 30, 2019. The agendas and WebEx instructions will be posted to the Membership area of the website in advance of each briefing. For questions, please contact
Dairy Delivers