The Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Atlanta, said it has new leadership, new branding and a new name: The Dairy Alliance.

This change represents the new vision and mission of the organization. The Dairy Alliance said it has an emphasis on market-focused partnerships that proactively promote and protect the interests of 2,100 dairy farm families in the Southeast. The new branding initiative includes a new logo, a strategic mission and vision and a renewed effort to expand partnerships and provide growth opportunities in the dairy industry.

"We are aligning our organization to more accurately reflect the vision of our dairy farmer board of directors and bring focus and clarity to the new mission of The Dairy Alliance," said Doug Ackerman, who has served as CEO since January of 2017. "The rebranding is more than a new logo and a new name. It is a fundamental shift in how we position ourselves within the dairy industry, individual business channels and communities where we live and partner for a healthier future for us all."

Since 1971, The Dairy Alliance has been the voice for dairy in the Southeast. The primary goal has been promoting milk and dairy foods for farmers and working with industry partners. The organization said it started with just four states and has grown to nine, including Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

"The dairy industry is facing several challenges, including the loss of producers, globalization and regulation," said Glen Easter, chairman of the board of directors of The Dairy Alliance and a third-generation dairy farmer. "This effort ensures the alliance is hitting our targets and that our families and partners are part of the conversations and, ultimately, the solutions."

The Dairy Alliance said it uses scientifically-based research and information to champion the dairy industry to organizations around the country including farm bureaus, departments of education, school nutrition associations, state nutrition directors, health professional organizations and others.