The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., said it recognized the remarkable leadership of Sue Taylor, former vice president of dairy economics and policy for Leprino Foods Co., by honoring her with the IDFA Laureate Award. The award was presented on Jan. 25 during the association’s annual Dairy Forum.

Now in its second year, the IDFA Laureate Award is given to a leader in the dairy industry who has made significant, prolonged contributions to the development and growth of dairy. Candidates from across the dairy industry, as well as suppliers and academics, are eligible, IDFA said, and the awardee is chosen by a panel of industry professionals.

Leprino Foods is the world's largest mozzarella cheese maker and top producer of whey protein and dairy ingredients, supplying companies around the globe, IDFA noted. Taylor grew up on a dairy farm and has spent more than 30 years in the industry.

Her responsibilities at Leprino included leading the company’s economic, legislative and regulatory dairy policy efforts, IDFA said. She also managed the company’s milk procurement function for 20 years. During that time, Taylor served on the boards of several dairy organizations, including on the IDFA Executive Council, IDFA Cheese Board and the board of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, among others. She most recently chaired IDFA’s Economic Policy Committee.

Prior to joining Leprino Foods, Taylor was a principal in a dairy economics consulting business and held various positions related to milk procurement, dairy economics and agricultural lending. Taylor retired from Leprino Foods at the end of 2020 after more than 25 years, IDFA said.

“In selecting Sue for this award, our panel recognized a mentor and leader in the dairy industry, someone who has positively influenced the careers of so many young economists and policy analysts,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA. “Sue’s intellectual curiosity, her technical competence and her passion for doing the right thing for dairy are key to a positive influence on the industry that will continue for years. For her service to our industry and to IDFA, we are proud to present Sue Taylor with the IDFA Laureate Award.”

Taylor said the award is a great honor.

“It represents the culmination of a very full and satisfying career in the dairy industry,” she said. “I have been privileged to have had so many fascinating opportunities to work with the great people across this wonderful industry. I appreciate this recognition and thank the IDFA members and staff for the opportunities and support throughout my career.”