Michael Dykes to head IDFA

By Daniel Enoch

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2016 -- Michael Dykes, long-time vice president of government affairs at Monsanto, has been chosen as the next president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association.

Dykes will replace Connie Tipton, who announced in January her plan to retire after spending 35 years representing the dairy foods industry in Washington. Dykes will work in transition with Tipton beginning in October before assuming the CEO role in January 2017, IDFA said in a release.

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“I look forward to collaborating with Connie to ensure a seamless transition, and working closely with members and staff to make a difference for the dairy foods industry,” Dykes said in the release.

Dykes retired from Monsanto in January after nearly 27 years with the company, the last 19 as VP of government affairs. In that position he was responsible for developing and implementing a portfolio of U.S. government relations strategies and programs that included agricultural biotechnology policy, IDFA pointed out in the release. He led Monsanto's office in Washington and served as 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 also directed the company's efforts in state and local government affairs, in addition to government affairs in Mexico and Canada.

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Dykes grew up on a small dairy and tobacco farm in Kentucky. He earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Auburn University. He also attended the University of Kentucky where he received a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics and a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science.

“Michael's policy experience combined with his food and animal science background could not be a better fit for IDFA” said Jeff Kaneb, executive vice president of HP Hood LLC and chairman of IDFA's transition committee. “He brings energy, enthusiasm and a track record of success to IDFA.”

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