The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) recognized six individuals whose work in legislation and policy on trade and transportation and food and agricultural policy has helped to advance the economic impact of U.S. dairy manufacturing. At the annual Celebration of Dairy event taking place at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes, D.V.M., recognized Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, Congressman John Garamendi of California, Congressman Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Mr. Daniel Maffei (pictured with the dairy group in the photo), and Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response Mr. Frank Yiannas of the Food and Drug Administration, with the IDFA Leadership Award. 

The IDFA Leadership Award is given to members of the legislative and executive branches of the federal government who have shown outstanding leadership in support of U.S. dairy. The event recognizing the lawmakers and policymakers took place on Dec. 7, on Capitol Hill.

“On behalf of our members across the dairy supply chain, it is my honor to recognize these six outstanding officials with the IDFA Leadership Award for their important contributions to a healthy, vibrant U.S. dairy industry,” said Dykes. “From ensuring our dairy products can be transported throughout the interior of the country and to markets overseas, to defending our nation’s dairy companies from unfair barriers to trade while advancing market access for U.S. dairy exports, the work done by these officials helps to support millions of good-paying jobs making nutritious, sustainable dairy foods. As U.S. dairy consumption and exports continue to grow each year, we are grateful to dedicated public servants who advance dairy’s benefits to consumers here and around the world. IDFA and our members are so pleased to honor these individuals for their tremendous work on behalf of U.S. dairy.”  

The recipients are: 

  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota)
  • Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota)
  • Congressman John Garamendi (D-California)
  • Congressman Dusty Johnson (R-South Dakota)
  • Daniel Maffei, Chairman, Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) (pictured in the photo)
  • Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

The Celebration of Dairy welcomed members of Congress as well as key staff, officials from the Biden Administration, ambassadors and representatives from trading partner countries, and leaders from throughout the food and agriculture industry. The Celebration of Dairy, IDFA’s annual holiday reception, also showcased an array of butter boards, gourmet cheeses, eggnog, and ice cream products from IDFA member companies, including BelGioioso Cheese Inc., Challenge Dairy Products, Inc., Grande Cheese Company, Great Lakes Cheese Co., Inc., Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc., HP Hood LLC, The Ice Cream Club, Inc., Saputo Dairy Division USA, and Sartori Company. 

IDFA donated additional dairy products to the Father McKenna Center, an independent 501(c) in Washington’s Ward 6 serving those struggling with homelessness and food insecurity.