WASHINGTON —The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) has recognized six individuals whose work in federal legislation and food and agricultural policy has helped to advance the economic impact of the U.S. dairy industry. At the annual Celebration of Dairy event overlooking the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, IDFA president and chief executive officer Michael Dykes, D.V.M., recognized Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. David Scott of Georgia, Rep. Sanford Bishop of Georgia, Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho, and Jason Hafemeister and Bruce Summers of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) with the IDFA Leadership Award.
The IDFA Leadership Award is given to members of the legislative and executive branches of the federal government who have shown outstanding leadership in support of U.S. dairy. The event recognizing the lawmakers and policymakers was held on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 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 the development of farm, nutrition and feeding programs, to advancing market access for US dairy exports around the world, the work done by these officials helps to support millions of good-paying jobs making nutritious, sustainable dairy foods. The U.S. dairy industry generates $41.6 billion in direct wages and $753 billion in overall economic impact for communities across the country. That sort of impact takes real champions. That’s why IDFA and our members are so pleased to honor these individuals for their tremendous work on behalf of U.S. dairy.”
The recipients are:
- Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri)
- House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. David Scott (D-Georgia)
- Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Georgia)
- Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho)
- Jason Hafemeister, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs and Trade Counsel to the Secretary of Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture
- Bruce Summers, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), US Department of Agriculture
The Celebration of Dairy welcomed members of Congress as well as key 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 and ice cream products from IDFA member companies, including HP Hood, The Ice Cream Club, Agropur, Bel Brands USA, Great Lakes Cheese Co., Inc., Hilmar Cheese Company, Lactalis, Inc., Valley Queen Cheese, and High Road Craft Ice Cream, Inc. IDFA also 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.