The National Milk Producers Federation made quick work of its search for a new top executive, announcing Wednesday the selection of Gregg Doud to be the next president and CEO.

The news comes just one day after Jim Mulhern, the group’s current leader, announced his plans to retire at the end of the year. Doud will join NMPF in September as the organization’s chief operating officer and will assume the position of president and CEO upon Mulhern’s impending departure.

Randy Mooney, chair of NMPF’s board, called Doud a “true champion of agriculture” and “someone who both understands the hard work we do and the opportunities and challenges we face both here and abroad.”

“NMPF has long been blessed with leadership that’s been able to take its advocacy for dairy to a higher level,” Mooney added in an NMPF release. “We strongly believe that Gregg Doud more than amply provides the expertise, the background, and the passion we will need as we navigate a challenging, but promising, new era.”

Doud’s career stretches across many different facets of farm policy, most notably as the chief ag negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative during the Trump administration. During that time, Doud was involved in many of the administration’s trade efforts, including the renegotiation of the North American trade pact that would go on to become the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and talks with China that produced the “phase one” deal with the country.

Prior to his time in the Trump administration, Doud also spent time as the leader of the Commodity Markets Council and on the staffs of the Senate Ag Committee, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Wheat Associates, and – most recently – Aimpoint Research.

“From the policy arena to new technologies, there are many great new opportunities for dairy producers at home and internationally,” Doud said in a statement. “It is a tremendous privilege to have the opportunity in these exciting times to lead NMPF, one of Washington’s oldest, most prestigious and well-respected agricultural trade associations.”

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NMPF and other dairy groups are currently in the thick of a debate over the future of the nation’s federal milk marketing orders.

Last week, USDA announced its timeline for responding to NMPF’s petition for FMMO reform and similar documents submitted by other industry stakeholders. The department plans to hold a pre-hearing informational session June 16; should USDA officials opt to move forward with a hearing to explore FMMO changes, it will announce a meeting date in late July, but USDA said a tentative hearing date would be Aug. 23.

NMPF is pushing for reform of several FMMO provisions, ranging from production cost calculations to the nutritional components used in pricing formulas. The International Dairy Foods Association, which represents dairy processors, has recommended limiting the hearing process to manufacturing costs.

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