WASHINGTON  –  The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) recognized Sue Taylor, vice president of dairy economics and policy for Leprino Foods Co. in Denver, by honoring her with the IDFA Laureate Award during the association’s annual Dairy Forum on Jan. 25, following the opening address from Michael Dykes, DVM, president and chief executive officer of the IDFA. The Dairy Forum is taking place virtually from Jan. 25-28.

Now in its second year, the IDFA Laureate Award is given to a leader in the dairy industry who has made significant, prolonged contributions to the development and growth of dairy. Candidates from across the dairy industry, as well as suppliers and academics are eligible, and the awardee is chosen by a panel of industry professionals.

“In selecting Sue for this award, our panel recognized a mentor and leader in the dairy industry, someone who has positively influenced the careers of so many young economists and policy analysts,” Mr. Dykes said. “Sue’s intellectual curiosity, her technical competence and her passion for doing the right thing for dairy are key to a positive influence on the industry that will continue for years. For her service to our industry and to IDFA, we are proud to present Sue Taylor with the IDFA Laureate Award.”

Leprino Foods is the world's largest mozzarella cheese maker and top producer of whey protein and dairy ingredients, supplying companies around the globe. Ms. Taylor grew up on a dairy farm and has spent more than 30 years in the industry. Her responsibilities at Leprino included leading the company’s economic, legislative and regulatory dairy policy efforts. She also managed the company’s milk procurement function for 20 years. During that time, Ms. Taylor served on the boards of several dairy organizations, including on the IDFA Executive Council, IDFA Cheese Board, and the board of the US Dairy Export Council, among others. She most recently chaired IDFA’s Economic Policy Committee.

Prior to joining Leprino Foods, Ms. Taylor was a principal in a dairy economics consulting business and held various positions related to milk procurement, dairy economics, and agricultural lending.

She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Cornell University. Ms. Taylor retired from Leprino Foods at the end of 2020 after more than 25 years.

In a pre-recorded video, Ms. Taylor accepted the award and shared her thoughts.

“This is truly an amazing honor for me because it represents the culmination of a very full and satisfying career in the dairy industry,” Ms. Taylor said. “I have been privileged to have had so many fascinating opportunities to work with the great people across this wonderful industry. I appreciate this recognition and thank the IDFA members and staff for the opportunities and support throughout my career.”

The IDFA represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3 million jobs that generate $159 billion in wages and $620 billion in overall economic impact.