Contact: Peggy Armstrong
(Washington, D.C. - July 23, 2010) Robert Yonkers, Ph.D., vice president and chief economist of the International Dairy Foods Association, will be honored by the Western Agricultural Economics Association for his professional accomplishments and leadership in agricultural and resource economics. With a doctorate degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University, he one of a small distinguished group of industry scholars recognized as "outstanding alumni." The alumni were nominated by the alma mater; the criteria for nomination include professional accomplishments and job responsibilities.
"As our chief economist, Bob makes a huge contribution to our member companies and the entire dairy industry; we are delighted that he is being recognized by his peers," said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO. "IDFA is the beneficiary of Bob's years as a scholar and professor; he has the ability to make the most complex economic issue understandable -- and more importantly -- solvable."
Dr. Yonkers is responsible for overseeing the research and analysis of the economic impact of marketing conditions, government regulations, and alternative policies on the U.S. and international dairy industries. He came to IDFA in 1998 from The Pennsylvania State University, where he was a tenured faculty member in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. At Penn State, he conducted research and developed educational programs focused on the profitability and economic sustainability of Pennsylvania's milk producing, marketing and processing sectors, and related consumer issues.
Appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative in 2001, Dr. Yonkers serves on the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Animals and Animal Products, an advisory body that provides information and advice relating to U.S. agricultural trade policy to U.S. cabinet officials. He is an active member of the International Dairy Federation's Standing Committee on Dairy Policies and Economics, and was elected chair in 2008.
Dr. Yonkers serves on the Agricultural Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and on the Board of Directors for the Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, where he is vice chair. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Dairy Production from Kansas State University and a Master of Agriculture degree in Dairy Science from Texas A&M University.
The Western Agricultural Economics Association will recognize the recipients at its annual meeting, which is being held in conjunction with the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association annual meeting, July 26-28, in Denver.
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies representing a $110-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States.