Michael Dykes to Lead IDFA

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Aug 31, 2016

Michael Dykes, D.V.M., vice president of government affairs for Monsanto, will replace the retiring Connie Tipton as president/CEO of the International Dairy Foods Assn. (IDFA).

Dykes spent the past 19 years at 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 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 directed the company’s efforts in state and local government affairs, in addition to government affairs in Mexico and Canada.

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.

“I’ve known Michael for more than 20 years,” said Tipton, who announced in January that she would retire after spending 35 years representing the dairy foods industry in Washington, D.C. “His friendly manner and deep background in the food and agriculture industry will give him a running start for what I know will be a successful tenure with IDFA. I look forward to introducing Michael to our industry and all of my colleagues in the association community.”

Dykes is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Assn. 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 during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, and he served on the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture.

He will work in transition with Tipton beginning in October and will assume the CEO role in January 2017.

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