On October 9th, Members of Congress, leaders from some of America's top dairy companies, and California government officials gathered at Hilmar Cheese Company for IDFA's third strategic legislative fly-out to recognize the importance of California's dairy industry and the need to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Hosted by Hilmar Cheese Company CEO and President David Ahlem, the day's events began with a tour of the company's state-of-the-art processing facility and educational center in Hilmar, followed by a discussion of legislative and regulatory issues impacting U.S. dairy. IDFA is grateful to those who attended, including:
- Representative Jim Costa (CA-16)
- Representative T.J. Cox (CA-21)
- Representative Josh Harder (CA-10)
- Michael Dykes, President and CEO, International Dairy Foods Association
- Leaders from California Dairies Inc., Saputo Dairy Foods, Joseph Gallo Farms, Kraft Heinz, Land O'Lakes, Leprino Foods Company, and Valley Milk LLC
California is the nation's leading dairy state. Overall, California's dairy industry is responsible for creating 416,000 jobs, $26.5 billion in wages, and delivering nearly $100 billion in economic impact for the state's economy — or roughly 3.3% of the state's GDP.
"We're grateful to Representatives Costa, Cox and Harder for being champions of California dairy and fighting for dairy in Washington," said Dykes. "They understand and appreciate that to continue positive growth, we must work together to support passage of crucial trade agreements like the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)."
"We recognize the importance of this opportunity to show our Representatives first-hand how our 1,400 employees use technical and advanced skills to make dairy products that provide nutrition world-wide," said Ahlem.