Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA President and CEO
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Peggy Armstrong
(Washington, D.C. – July 20, 2017) The International Dairy Foods Association released the following statement by Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, regarding the nomination of Ted McKinney as undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Sam Clovis as USDA undersecretary for research, education and economics.
“The 2014 farm bill established an undersecretary for trade and foreign agriculture affairs at the Department of Agriculture. Now three years later, I could not have imagined a better candidate to take on this challenge than Ted McKinney. I have known and worked extensively with Ted for the better part of 20 years and am sure that he will define this important position for our agriculture industry.
“Ted has a thorough understanding of modern agriculture, its complexity and its implications for trade. In addition, Ted will bring a wealth of experience from both the heart of America’s farmland and our nation’s Capital.
“International trade is increasingly important to the food and agriculture sector even as trade issues become more and more complex. U.S. dairy farmers and dairy foods manufacturers now benefit from a dairy trade surplus of more than $2 billion with approximately one days’ worth of milk production each week exported as products to other parts of the world. Trade with Mexico alone supports more than 30,000 American jobs.
“We also welcome the nomination of Dr. Sam Clovis as undersecretary for research, education and economics. We’re pleased to see Secretary Perdue building a strong team to help continue his very early and impressive accomplishments to support U.S. agriculture. We support the Secretary's efforts and are looking forward to the many things he can do for agriculture once he has a full team in place.
“We hope that Congress will move quickly to confirm Ted McKinney so we can get to work together on keeping markets open – and gaining access to new markets.”
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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 nearly 525 companies within a $125-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 nearly 200 dairy processing members operate more than 600 manufacturing facilities 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.