WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2023—The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) today recognized six individuals whose leadership in food, nutrition and agricultural policymaking has helped to support the U.S. dairy industry. At the annual Celebration of Dairy event held at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes, D.V.M., recognized the following officials with the IDFA Leadership Award: U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Jerry Moran of Kansas and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan; U.S. Reps. John Moolenaar of Michigan and Dan Newhouse of Washington; and Under Secretary Alexis Taylor of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The IDFA Leadership Award is given annually to members of the legislative and executive branches of the federal government who have shown outstanding leadership in support of U.S. dairy policy priorities. The event recognizing the lawmakers and policymakers was held on Wednesday, Dec. 6, on Capitol Hill.

“On behalf of our members across the dairy supply chain, it is my honor to recognize these six outstanding officials with the IDFA Leadership Award for their important contributions to a healthy, vibrant U.S. dairy industry,” said Dykes. “From ensuring dairy products are recognized and incentivized for their important nutritional benefits, to building collaboration between federal agencies and the dairy industry to support innovative growth, the work done by these officials supports millions of good-paying jobs making nutritious, sustainable dairy foods. We are grateful to dedicated public servants who advance dairy’s benefits to consumers here and around the world. IDFA and our members are so pleased to honor these individuals for their tremendous work on behalf of U.S. dairy.”  

The recipients are:

  • U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin)
  • U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kansas)
  • U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan), Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry
  • U.S. Representative John Moolenaar (R-Michigan)
  • U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse (R-Washington)
  • Hon. Alexis Taylor, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, USDA

The Celebration of Dairy welcomed members of Congress as well as key congressional staff, officials from the Biden Administration, ambassadors and representatives from trading partner countries, and leaders from throughout the food and agriculture industry. The Celebration of Dairy, IDFA’s annual holiday reception, also showcased an array of gourmet cheeses, eggnog, ice cream products, and butter boards from IDFA member companies, including BelGioioso Cheese, Inc., Emmi Roth USA, Grande Cheese Company, Great Lakes Cheese Co., Inc., Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc., HP Hood LLC, The Ice Cream Club, Inc., Lactalis USA, Saputo Dairy Division USA, Sartori Company, Schuman Cheese, Tillamook County Creamery Association, and Valley Queen Cheese Factory, Inc.

IDFA donated additional dairy products to the Father McKenna Center, an independent 501(c) in Washington’s Ward 6 serving those struggling with homelessness and food insecurity.

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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 3.2 million jobs that generate $49 billion in direct wages and $794 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 most 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.

IDFA Media Contact

Andrew Jerome

Associate Vice President, Communications