The International Dairy Foods Association said today that Michael D. Dykes, the vice president of government affairs for Monsanto and a doctor of veterinary medicine will replace Connie Tipton as president and CEO. Dykes will work in transition with Tipton beginning in October and will assume the CEO role in January 2017.

Dykes grew up on a small dairy and tobacco farm in Kentucky. He earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Auburn University. He also attended the University of Kentucky where he received a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics and a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science.

For the past 19 years, Dykes served as vice president of government affairs for Monsanto, where he was responsible for developing and implementing a portfolio of U.S. government relations strategies and programs that included agricultural biotechnology policy. He led Monsanto’s office in Washington, D.C., and served as the company’s primary point of contact for elected officials, regulatory authorities, U.S. farm organizations, key industry participants, trade associations, international organizations and embassies. He directed the company’s efforts in state and local government affairs, in addition to government affairs in Mexico and Canada. 

“Michael’s policy experience combined with his food and animal science background could not be a better fit for IDFA” said Jeff Kaneb, chairman of IDFA’s transition committee. “He brings energy, enthusiasm and a track record of success to IDFA.”

Kaneb is executive vice president of HP Hood LLC. Other transition committee members are Ed Mullins, executive vice president and CEO, Prairie Farms Dairy; Mike Reidy, senior vice president – corporate affairs, Leprino Foods Co. and chairman of IDFA; Patricia Stroup, vice president and chief procurement officer, Nestle USA; Gregg Tanner, CEO of Dean Foods Co.; and Mike Wells, president and CEO of Wells Enterprises.

Both Dykes and Tipton will attend IDFA’s 2017 Dairy Forum in Orlando.