IDFA kicked off the holiday season by hosting its second annual Celebration of Dairy reception, where administration officials, members of Congress and their staffs, embassy officials and industry stakeholders came to socialize while enjoying dairy treats. In all, around 300 attendees gathered to enjoy eggnog, a variety of cheeses and a sampling of holiday ice cream flavors donated by IDFA members.
The gathering, which was hosted next to the U.S. Capitol, served as a celebratory conclusion to IDFA’s successful legislative fly-in, where executives from member companies met with key members of the House as well as with Gregory Ibach, undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Ted McKinney, undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs at USDA.
“I can’t think of a better way to end our successful December fly-in than bringing both sides of the aisle together to celebrate our shared love of dairy,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “We’re pleased to see how well our messages on key priorities and our delicious, member-donated foods were received on Capitol Hill.”
IDFA Leadership Awards
During the reception, IDFA honored two members of Congress and two administration officials who have displayed outstanding leadership and support for the U.S. dairy industry. Each received the inaugural IDFA Leadership Award.
- Gregory Ibach, undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs at USDA;
- Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.;
- Stephen Ostroff, M.D., retiring deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the Food and Drug Administration; and
- Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa.
“We cannot thank them enough for their tremendous work and unparalleled efforts on behalf of the U.S. dairy foods industry,” Dykes said.