WASHINGTON – The International Dairy Foods Association and its president and chief executive officer, Michael Dykes, DVM, welcomed the nomination of Stacy Dean to become under secretary for the US Department of Agriculture’s Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services.

President Joe Biden appointed Dean for the new position with FNCS, where she currently serves as deputy under secretary, working toward increasing nutrition assistance for struggling families and individuals, and identifying systemic racism and barriers to opportunities.

Dykes released a statement congratulating Dean on her nomination, in part saying the IDFA plans to work with key congressional offices to urge her swift confirmation.

The association’s president and CEO said since Dykes joined the FNCS in January of 2021, she and the staff have proven to be “responsive to the needs and demands of various constituent groups, including the dairy industry.”

Dykes stated: “Ms. Dean has remained collaborative as she and her team steward the programs that make up nearly three-quarters of USDA’s budget. IDFA is confident that, should she be confirmed, Ms. Dean will continue to be a valuable partner to dairy foods makers across the country to improve the important programs under her purview, including school breakfast and lunch, SNAP, WIC, TEFAP and many more. IDFA recognizes that for many people living in the United States, federal nutrition programs are a lifeline for critical nutrients. IDFA will continue to partner with USDA to look for creative ways to increase access and availability to dairy nutrition.”

Nutrition, Dykes added, is “the foundation of health and wellness for adults and children alike.” He called dairy “a crucial part of a healthy diet.”

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in a separate statement endorsing her nomination credited Dean for her dedication to advancing food and nutrition security “for all Americans” while working for the administration.

“Her commitment during her time at USDA and throughout her career proves she is exceptionally well suited to serve as under secretary for FNCS,” Vilsack said. “Since taking on the role of deputy under secretary, Stacy has sought to increase nutrition assistance for struggling Americans and tackle barriers that have been long engrained into assistance programs.”

Previously, Dean worked at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, serving as the vice president for food assistance policy. Her team there published reports on how federal nutrition programs affect families and communities, and developed policies to improve the federal programs.

Dean also previously worked as a budget analyst at the Office of Management and Budget. She earned her bachelor's degree, as well as a master’s in public policy, from the University of Michigan.