More than 600 dairy industry leaders were on hand in Orlando, as IDFA's Dairy Forum kicked off the new year in magical fashion.
Connie Tipton, pres. and CEO of the organization outlined aspects of global business opportunities for the U.S. dairy industry, and suggested that some domestic dairy policies are on the wrong track for allowing the United States to achieve success.
IDFA presented Soaring Eagle Awards to four industry leaders to recognize their extraordinary efforts as chairmen of the associations:
Rick Beaman, COO, for the Southwest Region of Dean Foods; Lou Gentine, chairman and CEO of Sargento Foods; John Jeter, president and CEO of Hilmar Cheese Company; and Gary Wells, CEO of Wells' Dairy, Inc.
North Florida Holsteins, Bell, Fla., was honored with the 2005 Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year award, co-sponsored by IDFA and Dairy Today magazine. The operation was chosen due to its long record of successful innovations, particularly in relation to tackling the weather challenges of the Southeast.
Dairy Foods recognized HP Hood as our Processor of the Year, presenting a plaque to Chairman John Kaneb, and Dairy Field magazine recognized Leprino Foods.
Wesley J. Allen, who recently retired as president of Leprino, also received the 2005 NCI Laureate Award based on his four decades of distinguished service to the cheese industry.