During IDFA’s first fly-in of 2019, dairy leaders met with congressional leaders and senior administration officials to discuss priority issues for the dairy processing industry. The two-day event this week focused on IDFA’s appropriations priorities, trade issues and the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill.

The group highlighted the importance of Congress providing funds for ice cream research to address processing waste issues. They also called for additional funding for the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) and Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) to ensure federal regulations keep up with industry innovation in both products and production methods.

Additionally, the dairy executives stressed the need to lift the Section 232 tariffs on Mexico and Canada as soon as possible to encourage the countries to remove retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, including dairy products. Finally, the executives urged USDA to implement provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill that would change the fluid milk pricing formula, restart the Dairy Forward Pricing Program and create a new fluid milk incentive program for families that participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Dairy Decision-makers

Dairy executives who participated in the fly-in:

  • Gary Aggus, Chief Operating Officer, Hiland Dairy Foods Co., L.LC.;
  • Tim Galloway, CEO, Galloway Company;
  • Doug Glade, Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations, Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.;
  • Jeff Kaneb, Executive Vice President, HP Hood LLC;
  • Ed Mullins, CEO/Executive Vice President, Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc.; and
  • Jeff Saforek, Chief Operating Officer, Agri-Mark, Inc./Cabot.

A Packed Schedule

The executives met with top officials in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and at the Embassy of Canada, as well as congressional leaders who are involved in appropriations and trade issues. They included:

  • Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.;
  • Sen. John Boozman, R- Ark.;
  • Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.;
  • Dana Coale, Deputy Administrator for Agricultural Marketing Service at USDA;
  • Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine;
  • Kirsten Hillman, Canada's Deputy Ambassador to the United States
  • Gregory Ibach, Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at USDA;
  • Brandon Lipps, Deputy Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services at USDA;
  • Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.;
  • Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn.; and
  • Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D- Md.

IDFA staff members and the dairy leaders also hosted a dinner on Tuesday for Rep. Collin Peterson, D- Minn., the new chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

More details are available on Twitter @dairyidfa.

For more information, contact Dave Carlin, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy, at dcarlin@idfa.org.