WASHINGTON — As it looks to strengthen its dairy policy and pricing efforts, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) added a milk pricing expert to its staff, making Mike Brown the organization’s chief economist.

The newest member of IDFA’s legislative affairs and economic policy team, Brown will report to the association’s senior vice president, Dave Carlin.

Most recently the dairy supply chain director for The Kroger Co., Brown’s career as a dairy economist also includes working for Glanbia, Darigold and National All-Jersey, Inc.

Per IDFA, Brown’s expertise on milk pricing policy has led to him working for both farmer-owned cooperatives and businesses.

“The US 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,” said IDFA president and chief executive officer Michael Dykes. “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 US industry.”

Brown stated: “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.”

In addition to the hire, IDFA also announced it has engaged in consulting agreements with three policy and legal experts – Chip English, Steven J. Rosenbaum, and former US Rep. Collin Peterson – who will support the work of Carlin and Brown.

English’s experience includes representing dairy companies at federal milk marketing order hearings conducted by the US Department of Agriculture.

Rosenbaum is an active trial lawyer who previously has represented IDFA and its members at USDA federal milk marketing order hearings.

A former chairman and ranking member of the US House Agriculture Committee, Peterson developed dairy policy and safety net provisions that the dairy industry widely views as key to the supply chain.