USDEC Staff in Action

USDEC leads China Business Development Mission

June 28, 2024

USDEC President and CEO Krysta Harden joined USDEC Chair Alex Peterson, Vice Chair Becky Nyman, 15 USDEC members, and key staff in Beijing and Shanghai in late June on a business development mission in collaboration with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. 

The visit to Beijing and Shanghai had two broad goals:

Build and strengthen relationships between U.S. dairy suppliers and Chinese buyers.

Promote U.S.-China agricultural trade relationships.

It sought to fulfill those goals by engaging—through a series of meetings and other events—with Chinese dairy importers, processors, dairy and business associations and USDEC’s partner Jiangnan University.  

It also included visits to retail establishments, including an upscale grocery store in Beijing. Shown in the photo above, from left, are Victor Sun, son of the store’s founder; Becky Nyman, USDEC Vice Chair and California dairy farmer; Martha Scott Poindexter, USDEC Chief Operating Officer; Alex Peterson, USDEC Chair and Missouri dairy farmer; Krysta Harden, USDEC President and CEO, and a store employee.

Capitalizing on healthy snacking opportunities in Vietnam

June 11, 2024

More than 180 Vietnamese food and beverage industry professionals attended USDEC’s Healthy Snacking Innovation Seminar in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in early June. 

Nutrition, consumer insights, and food and beverage application experts shared their knowledge and ideas for meeting Vietnamese consumers’ rising demand for convenient, tasty, and nourishing products by fortifying foods and beverages with U.S. dairy proteins and other ingredients.

“With greater attention on healthy eating, opportunities for products leveraging U.S. dairy ingredients continue to emerge,” said Keith Meyer, USDEC marketing director, Global Ingredients Marketing. 

U.S. cheese shines at Food & Hotel Asia Singapore

May 13, 2024 

U.S. cheese made a splash at the recent Food & Hotel Asia (FHA) trade show in Singapore. With an estimated 60,000 attendees and more than 1,500 exhibitors, FHA is one of Asia’s largest food and beverage expos. Nine member companies exhibited in the USA Dairy Pavilion.

USDEC was there to promote U.S. cheese excellence and foster connections with potential buyers across all channels (importers/distributors, retailers, regional manufacturers, foodservice companies, culinary institutions and influential regional chefs).

Discussions highlighted the diverse range of U.S. cheeses and provided insights into the U.S. cheese industry and the USA Cheese Guild’s initiatives in driving awareness of U.S. cheese in Southeast Asia.

USDEC mission to Italy strengthens U.S. dairy’s position in global food systems discussion

May 3, 2024

In late April-early May, a USDEC-led delegation held a series of meetings in Italy with UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) leaders, representatives from UN member states, and allied dairy groups. 

The mission had multiple goals, including: 

Educate FAO staff, policymakers and thought leaders on U.S. dairy’s commitment to being a sustainable source of nutrition for the world and on the essential role trade plays in global nutrition security.

Elevate the voice of U.S. dairy producers in global policy-setting platforms and create new farmer-focused global partnerships.

Strengthen and grow relationships with international dairy industry leaders who recognize the importance of trade, animal-sourced foods, and science, innovation and technology to increase production of nutrient-dense foods while simultaneously decreasing the use of natural resources.

USDEC stands up for U.S. dairy farmers, processors at UN Environment Assembly

March 1, 2024

USDEC made sure that U.S. dairy’s voice was heard and the U.S. dairy industry’s environmental advances were understood and appreciated at the Sixth UN Environment Assembly in late February.

USDEC President and CEO Krysta Harden; Senior Vice President, Sustainability and Multilateral Affairs Nick Gardner; and Vice President, Environmental Affairs Kelly Sheridan spoke loudly and clearly throughout the conference, highlighting the role of dairy and trade in delivering sustainable nutrition to the world.

Click the arrow below to hear remarks from Harden. 

Fact-finding mission to Indonesia

February 16, 2024

USDEC Senior Vice President of Market Access and Regulatory Affairs Jonathan Gardner, USDEC Southeast Asia office chief Dali Ghazalay and representatives from the New Mexico Department of Agriculture and New Mexico State University were recently in Indonesia on a fact-finding mission to learn more about how the U.S. dairy sector might be able to work with the local industry to help it address challenges to production and consumption growth.  

It follows previous USDEC engagement in Indonesia in recent years with government officials and farmers, including a 2023 mission organized by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. USDEC President and CEO Krysta Harden participated in that mission.

Optimism rules at World Dairy Summit

October 20, 2023

USDEC staffers played key roles at the International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit in mid-October, where global dairy leaders gathered to learn from one another, share expertise and gain new perspectives. 

Speakers and audience members openly acknowledged the many challenges facing dairy—including farm economics; greenhouse gas emissions; water use; measuring, quantifying and standardizing sustainability activities; anti-dairy disinformation; competition from plant- and lab-based products; and others. But at the same time, they expressed belief that dairy’s inherent and unique nutritional proposition and accelerating efforts to improve and communicate dairy’s sustainability credentials attest to the global dairy sector’s healthy future.

More than 1,240 dairy leaders from 55 countries registered for the event in Chicago. Click arrow below to learn more. 

Mission to Mexico, Costa Rica strengthens partnerships in Latin America

September 27, 2023

Leaders of USDEC and Dairy Management Inc. traveled to Mexico and Costa Rica to strengthen USDEC’s partnerships in Latin America and continue building a robust and mutually beneficial relationship to help grow the dairy sectors in both countries.  

They also visited retail outlets and trade shows to learn more about market opportunities for U.S. dairy exports. 

In Costa Rica, USDEC and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture renewed a partnership to promote and harmonize science-based standards related to food and agriculture.

In the photo above, USDEC President and CEO Krysta Harden, left, visits with Elizabeth Rodriguez of Bluegrass Ingredients at the Food Tech Summit & Expo in Mexico City. Shown next to Harden, left to right, are Rodrigo Fernandez, director of USDEC’s Mexico Office; Martha Scott Poindexter, USDEC Chief Operating Officer, and Alex Peterson, USDEC Interim Chair.

Harden in Indonesia addressing issues important to U.S. dairy exports

August 10, 2023

USDEC President and CEO Krysta Harden was in Indonesia in early August, building relationships and addressing issues important to U.S. dairy exporters as part of a trade mission led by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.   

The coalition met with various government officials including Indonesia's Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Industry (which addresses trade-related issues), as well as with the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia. Harden and the NASDA team held a number of other meetings with private sector actors in Indonesia as well. Those engagements included a Chef's Table Luncheon and California Cheese Tasting Event hosted by the California Milk Advisory Board’s in-country team.  

The trip provided Harden the opportunity to elevate the thorny issue of Indonesia's protracted dairy facility registration process, which impedes U.S. dairy exports by taking up to three years or more for facility registration applications to fully move through the approval and listing process. It was also a valuable chance to connect with key players involved in USDEC’s trade policy efforts to reduce tariffs in that market through USDEC’s MFN tariff cut initiative project and to cultivate relationships in a top 10 market for U.S. dairy exports. 

USDEC executive recognized for global contributions to cheese industry

July 19, 2023

Angélique Hollister, Senior Vice President of Global Cheese Marketing at USDEC, has been honored by the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers – a prestigious international cheese society – with the esteemed title of “Garde et Juré,” protector of the craft of cheesemaking.  

The recognition bolsters the growing awareness and reputation of U.S. cheeses worldwide.

Click on arrow below to learn more. 

U.S. dairy farmers learn about market opportunities in Southeast Asia

June 8, 2023

In early June, seven U.S. dairy farmers, the CEO of a state checkoff group and a U.S. dairy journalist accompanied USDEC President and CEO Krysta Harden and USDEC Arlington and Southeast Asia staff on a series of activities and meetings with Southeast Asian importers, customers and processors, and USDEC members and partners—with the U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence at the heart of the mission.

Click on the arrow below for a travelogue with social media postings from the week. 

Eucolait meeting culminates with new MOU

May 25, 2023

USDEC staff led by President and CEO Krysta Harden traveled to Warsaw, Poland, in late May for the annual Eucolait General Assembly. The purpose of the trip was twofold: Harden spoke at a May 25 panel presentation, “Who will satisfy the growing global demand for dairy?” and USDEC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European dairy trade organization to strengthen innovation and trade, share information and bolster the image of dairy. 

New collaboration on global climate, agriculture and trade discussions

April 20, 2023

On April 20, representatives from USDEC, National Milk Producers Federation, the Pan American Dairy Federation and the National Agricultural Organizations from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia and Colombia adopted a set of joint principles aimed at advocating globally for science-based, forward-looking public policy on the issues of agriculture, climate and trade.

Under the agreement’s language, the groups will coordinate efforts on dairy, livestock and trade for global food systems and climate conferences. The organizations aim to work together and with their respective governments to play a role in shaping the discussion around agriculture’s role in a sustainable future.

Click arrow below for a news release on the agreement.

USDEC staff, Operating Committee highlight dairy priorities to policymakers in DC fly-in

March 30, 2023

USDEC organized a Capitol Hill “fly-in” following its Spring Membership Meeting in late March. USDEC President and CEO Krysta Harden, COO Martha Scott Poindexter and the USDEC Trade Policy team (Jaime Castaneda, Shawna Morris and Tony Rice), accompanied nine members of USDEC's Operating Committee as they met with officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Office of U.S. Trade Representative, several House members and others. 

Click on the arrow below to learn more. 

Court ruling on "gruyere" caps big week in battle to preserve common food names

March 3, 2023

U.S. lawmakers and food industry representatives gathered March 1 on Capitol Hill for a bipartisan discussion on common food names in what turned out to be a landmark week in the battle to preserve U.S. food and beverage companies’ rights to use those names. Just two days later, a U.S. appeals court ruled the name “gruyere” is generic, blocking an attempt by Swiss and French consortiums to expropriate a common food name through a U.S. certification mark registration.

Learn more by clicking on arrow shown below. 

USDEC positions U.S. dairy sustainability story and trade with UN environment leaders

February 10, 2023

USDEC’s Sustainability and Multilateral Affairs team was in Nairobi, Kenya in early February engaging with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), U.S. government representatives, key UNEP member states and regional partners.

USDEC had multiple goals for the meetings: promote the critical role of U.S. dairy exports in sustainable food systems, support science-based policymaking and proactively mitigate potential UN-driven barriers to U.S. dairy exports.  

Four USA Cheese Specialist Certification Programs take place this month

January 19, 2023

The USA Cheese Specialist™ Certification Program (USA CSCP) is starting 2023 with a bang. About 75 culinary students, culinary professionals and importers kicked off training in Hong Kong and the Middle East in January. 

USDEC created the USA CSCP to educate professionals across the foodservice and retail sectors about U.S. cheese quality, applications and the industry’s commitment to exports. The goal is straightforward: build awareness and heritage of U.S. cheese to create a generation of U.S. cheese advocates.  

Whey Protein Forum highlights dairy protein advantages for Korean thought leaders

November 15, 2022

USDEC has spent the last two years outlining the many facets of U.S. whey protein—functionality, versatility, nutritional benefits and manufacturing—to South Korean nutrition and thought leaders and media through the Whey Protein Forum. 

In mid-November, USDEC Senior Vice President, Global Ingredients Marketing Vikki Nicholson-West tied all that information together into a single, clear package at the 6th Whey Protein Forum in Seoul, South Korea. 

About 20 food and nutrition thought leaders, university professors and journalists attended the event. Feedback from attendees was quite positive, with many citing the presentation as easy to understand, persuasive and providing a complete picture of whey protein.

U.S. Dairy Gathers Global Ag Leaders at UN Climate Change Conference (COP27)

November 12, 2022

A high-level delegation co-led by USDEC President & CEO Krysta Harden and Dairy Management Inc. Chair Marilyn Hershey showcased U.S. dairy’s key contributions to global climate and food security goals at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt. 
USDEC was a major contributor to the first-ever Sustainable Agriculture of the Americas Pavilion hosted by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), which convened panels that allowed producers, agriculture experts, academics, dairy industry leaders, supply chain partners, and senior government representatives to address COP27 negotiators and stakeholders. 

To read the full news release, click below. 

Cheese diplomacy, policy engagement in EU

October 19, 2022

A delegation from USDEC visited Europe in mid-October to begin deepening engagement with the EU in pursuit of more predictable trading conditions and to foster continued growth in dairy consumption, sustainability and food security. USDEC also showcased the high quality of U.S. cheesemaking while conveying U.S. dairy’s sustainability leadership.

The delegation consisted of USDEC President and CEO Krysta Harden, Senior VP of Trade Policy Shawna Morris, Senior VP of Sustainability and Multilateral Affairs Nick Gardner, Senior VP of Global Cheese Marketing Angelique Hollister and Senior VP of Global Retail Programs Merle McNeil. 

Click below to learn more.  

World Dairy Summit concludes with event hand-off to U.S.

September 14, 2022

The countdown has begun for the 2023 International Dairy Federation (IDF) World Dairy Summit, hosted by the U.S.

During the gala dinner ceremony at this year’s Summit, the 2022 host country, India, handed off the symbolic host key to the US-IDF Organizing Committee Co-chairs Nick Gardner, USDEC Senior Vice President of Sustainability and Multilateral Affairs, center, and Shawna Morris, USDEC Senior Vice President of Trade Policy, second from right. 

USDEC holds first in-person workshop in Japan since pandemic

September 8, 2022

Given Japan’s vigilant approach to COVID-19 and elevated numbers of new case totals in recent weeks, USDEC was uncertain what kind of response its in-person interactive workshop in early September would generate. It was the first face-to-face ingredients workshop in Japan since the start of the pandemic. 

The fact that the event attracted 27 representatives from food and beverage companies speaks to the high degree of interest in using U.S. whey and milk proteins as key ingredients in new product development efforts.

Download full article by clicking below. 

USDEC's Jonathan Gardner builds relationships in Indonesia

August 24, 2022

For two weeks in August, USDEC Senior Vice President, Market Access and Regulatory Affairs Jonathan Gardner, met with a series of officials in Southeast Asia to talk dairy. 

The trip featured an Aug. 24 meeting between senior delegates from the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council (U.S.-ABC) and Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) at the Presidential Palace. Another highlight was meeting the U.S. ambassador to Indonesia (see photo at left). 

Download a more detailed description of the meetings by clicking below. 

U.S. and Mexico dairy sectors recommit to binational cooperation

August 17, 2022

USDEC and the National Milk Producers Federation served as U.S. hosts and event organizers for the Binational Dairy Conference in mid-August, which brought together leading dairy representatives from the United States and Mexico. 

The dairy leaders agreed to facilitate fair trade between the two nations, while working to expand dairy consumption, enhance dairy farm productivity and strengthen the reputation of milk and dairy products in both countries. 

Click below to see a full list of mutually agreed-upon objectives from the conference. 

USDEC highlights U.S. dairy ingredients at workshop in Singapore

August 1, 2022

With COVID-19 restrictions eased, the U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence in Singapore is ramping up in-person activities. In July, food and beverage product development specialists gathered at the U.S. CDE for a 2.5-day workshop highlighting the innovation potential of U.S. dairy ingredients. “Our aim was to introduce the multi-faceted benefits of U.S. dairy ingredients to inspire food and beverage manufacturers in Southeast Asia to expand product lines with U.S. dairy proteins and permeate,” said USDEC's Kristi Saitama.

Click below to learn more. 

USDEC commends passage of Ocean Shipping Reform Act

June 16, 2022

USDEC CEO Krysta Harden attended the White House signing ceremony for the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, which sets in motion a series of new rules and regulations regarding ocean carrier practices.

The legislation was introduced in response to the vocal advocacy by NMPF, USDEC and other agricultural export and shipper organizations, as problems with effective ocean freight transportation worsened. USDEC is now urging speedy implementation by the Federal Maritime Commission. 

For more details on the new law, click below.  

Harden discusses role of dairy sustainability partnerships

June 8, 2022

At a sustainability conference sponsored by The Economist, USDEC President and CEO Krysta Harden discussed the key role public-private partnerships play in helping the U.S. dairy industry reach its environmental stewardship goals. 

Those goals -- greenhouse gas neutrality, optimized water usage and improved water quality by 2050 -- “cannot be done on the backs of farmers,” she said. “They are willing. But they need partners.”

Click below to read the U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog story, “The need for more dairy sustainability partnerships.” 

Mexico meetings seek to strengthen partnerships, boost consumption, facilitate trade

June 1, 2022

USDEC President and CEO Krysta Harden, Executive Vice President Jaime Castaneda and head of the Mexico office Rodrigo Fernandez held a series of meetings in Mexico with dairy and government leaders. The visits, which tied into World Milk Day celebrations, sought to strengthen partnerships in Mexico, reaffirm shared goals of the U.S. and Mexican dairy sectors, and facilitate smooth trade between the two nations.

Click below to see Twitter posts from the meetings. 

U.S. dairy product profile

U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence holds first live event, gears up for more

June 1, 2022

On June 1, the U.S. Center for Dairy Excellence hosted a workshop on U.S. permeate use in bakery applications, attracting 120 bakery and confectionery R&D staff and food formulators—in-person and online—from across Southeast Asia. 

The workshop is one of a series of events planned for the U.S. CDE this year. The next two seminars are July 13-15 (Healthy Snacking) and August 24 (Protein Beverages).

Click below for article on the popularity of permeate. 


Mission to Rome highlights U.S. dairy’s nutrition, environmental contributions to partners and UN decision-makers

May 25, 2022

USDEC President and CEO Krysta Harden headed a staff delegation to Rome to showcase U.S. dairy’s critical role in nutrition security and sustainable food systems. 

In a series of meetings, the delegation spoke with Ambassador Cindy McCain, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Agencies in Rome; representatives from several nations; senior officials from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and additional diplomats and decision-makers. 

Click below for a news release detailing the visits.  


USDEC staff, operating committee highlight dairy priorities to policymakers in DC fly-in

May 12, 2022

USDEC staff and nine members of the USDEC Operating Committee met with congressional representatives and administration officials to highlight U.S. dairy priorities.  

USDEC President and CEO Krysta Harden, COO Martha Scott Poindexter, the USDEC Trade Policy team and Operating Committee members emphasized the significant role exports play in U.S. dairy supply chain and the U.S. economy, while also noting ways to enhance the ability of U.S. dairy suppliers to best compete around the globe.

Click below to see Twitter posts from the meetings.