Brown, former Director of Dairy Supply Chain for The Kroger Co., will lead on Dairy Policy and Economics as IDFA expands its expertise

WASHINGTON, January 17, 2023—The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) today named Mike Brown as chief economist. Brown has had a long and distinguished career in the dairy industry, most recently leading the milk and dairy procurement team for The Kroger Co. as director of dairy supply chain. Prior to Kroger, Brown served as a dairy economist for well-known dairy brands and organizations including Glanbia, Darigold and National All-Jersey, Inc. Brown will join IDFA’s Legislative Affairs and Economic Policy team reporting to IDFA Senior Vice President Dave Carlin. Brown is a recognized expert on milk pricing policy and has worked for both farmer-owned cooperatives and proprietary businesses, all of which are current IDFA members.  

“We are so pleased to welcome Mike Brown to the IDFA family to lead our continuing efforts on dairy policy and pricing on behalf of America’s dairy processing industry,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “The U.S. dairy industry continues to go through a period of great evolution, creating significant upside for growth in response to consumer demand while exposing new challenges in consistently meeting that global demand. In short, our industry is experiencing an unprecedented pace of change all while striving to become the world’s leading supplier of affordable, sustainable dairy nutrition. We are confident that with Mike Brown as IDFA’s chief economist, our approach to the future will ensure the domestic and global competitiveness of the U.S. industry.”

“I am honored to join the International Dairy Foods Association as their new Chief Economist, working on behalf of dairy processors to analyze domestic and international market trends as well as economic and trade policies for the dairy industry,” said Brown. 

IDFA also announced today that it has engaged in consulting agreements with three policy and legal experts to support dairy policy and pricing efforts led by Carlin and Brown. They are Chip English, Steven J. Rosenbaum, and former U.S. Representative Collin Peterson. Chip English, a partner at the Davis Wright Tremaine LLP law firm, has extensive experience representing dairy companies at federal milk marketing order hearings conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including the most recent federal order hearing that resulted in the promulgation of a California Milk Marketing Order. Steven J. Rosenbaum is a senior counsel at the Covington law firm where he is an active trial lawyer who has represented IDFA and its members in previous USDA federal milk marketing order hearings. The Hon. Collin Peterson represented Minnesota’s Seventh District in Congress from 1991 to 2021, serving as Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee from 2005 to 2021 where he developed dairy policy and safety net provisions that have been instrumental to the dairy supply chain. Today he is president and founder of The Peterson Group, a government affairs and public policy firm.

These additions to IDFA will ensure the U.S. dairy processing industry maintains a robust, innovative supply chain making nutritious, value-added products like cheese, yogurt, butter, milk, dairy-based health beverages and powders for fitness and wellness, ice cream and frozen desserts, and a variety of dairy-derived ingredients. U.S. dairy exports continue to set a blazing pace each year as U.S. per capita consumption of dairy products notches consistent, strong growth across all segments led by cheese. This evolution is driving the industry to expand cutting-edge manufacturing capacity, grow its workforce through people-focused programs, and establish a leadership position on sustainability and health and wellness.

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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3.3 million jobs that generate $41.6 billion in direct wages and $753 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, all on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable business practices. Together, they represent 90 percent of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Delicious, safe and nutritious, dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages.

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Andrew Jerome

Associate Vice President, Communications