Trade delivers tremendous benefits to U.S. dairy processors and producers, but much more growth is needed to reach the 95 percent of potential customers living outside the United States. That's why IDFA is so focused on removing barriers to trade for U.S. dairy and ensuring a level playing field in any new trade deal. With nearly 1 in 6 dairy cows supplying milk for a variety of exports--from cheese to whey to butter--trade is of growing importance to the dairy industry.

This week, IDFA was pleased to learn that Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced the appointment of 140 private-sector members to the Agricultural Policy Advisor Committee for Trade (APAC) as well as six members of the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees for Trade (ATAC)--including two very important leaders from IDFA.

ATAC for Processed Foods

IDFA Senior Director of International Affairs Beth Hughes was named to the ATAC for Processed Foods. ATAC committee members advise and consult with the Secretary of Agriculture and the USTR on matters that concern U.S. consumers, producers, processors and traders of processed foods. Committee members provide expert advice and information about pertinent issues that affect both domestic and foreign production and trade of processed foods.

“It is a great honor to be appointed to the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Processed Foods,” said Hughes. “I’m looking forward to representing the U.S. dairy industry and working with Secretary Perdue and Ambassador Lighthizer on technical trade issues.”

Before joining IDFA, Hughes served for five years as manager of international policy for the USA Rice Federation. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from George Washington University and a master’s degree in international affairs from Florida State University.

Agricultural Policy Advisor Committee for TradeDykes_Michael_200x200

Additionally, IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes, D.V.M., has been reappointed to the APAC. The objectives of the APAC committee are to advise, consult with and make recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture and the USTR on a wide range of trade policies. Dykes has served on this committee, which also monitors the ongoing work of the technical-level committees, for the past year under the Trump administration. Similarly, Dykes was also a member of APAC during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.

“IDFA is grateful for the honor to serve on these important committees, ensuring that the voice of dairy is reflected in trade and technical discussions,” said Dykes.

For more information, contact Hughes at