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Monsanto’s Michael Dykes to Become IDFA CEO

Michael Dykes will replace Connie Tipton as president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), beginning the transition in October and assuming the role in January 2017. Tipton announced her retirement in January, following 35 years representing the dairy food industry in Washington, D.C.

Dykes, who is a vetinarian, has spent his professional career leading and executing agricultural government affairs policies and strategies, was VP of government affairs for 19 years at Creve Coeur, Mo.-based agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation 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 was 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.

Members of the transition committee are chairman Jeff Kaneb, EVP, HP Hood LLC; Ed Mullins, EVP and CEO, Prairie Farms Dairy Inc.; Mike Reidy, SVP – corporate affairs, Leprino Foods Co., and IDFA chairman; Patricia Stroup, VP and chief procurement officer, Nestle USA Inc.; Gregg Tanner, CEO, Dean Foods Co.; and Mike Wells, president and CEO, Wells Enterprises Inc.

"Throughout his career, Dykes has navigated the complex challenges of the food industry, with special emphasis on balancing the demands of innovation, time to market, sustainability, social responsibility and safety in a global market," the association noted. "He recognizes the importance of helping to shape public, political and regulatory opinion on a global platform and will guide IDFA’s ongoing efforts to develop successful approaches and initiatives for today’s competitive markets. ... His business and leadership experience is built upon years of continuous learning and developing expertise in a wide range of topics ranging from people leadership, to mergers and acquisitions and intellectual property protection, to domestic and international regulatory stewardship and issues affecting the environment and sustainability."

Dykes is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Academy of Practitioners, an interdisciplinary organization of health care practitioners and scholars. He also was a member of the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, and he served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture.

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