ARLINGTON, VA – U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) President and CEO Krysta Harden will moderate a panel featuring USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Biden Administration Supply Chain Ports Envoy John Porcari, and U.S. Reps. John Garamendi (D-CA) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) for Agri-Pulse’s supply chain webinar event on January 31, at 1 p.m. ET. The panel will discuss the impact of the current supply chain crisis on agriculture exports and how the situation can be sufficiently addressed.
The free webinar, “Digging Into the Ag Export Supply Chain Crisis and How to Fix It,” is an initiative of USDEC and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) in collaboration with Agri-Pulse. The webinar provides a platform for a high-level discussion by federal policymakers, regional port officials and business CEOs so they can jointly examine solutions to a crisis affecting the economic livelihood of millions of Americans whose jobs are connected to agricultural exports.
The webinar also includes a panel hosted by Jaime Castaneda, USDEC’s executive vice president, policy development and strategy; Mike Durkin, president and CEO of Leprino Foods, a USDEC member; Andrew Hwang, manager of business development and international marketing for the Port of Oakland; and Jon Eisen, director of intermodal motor carriers conference for the American Trucking Association.
“Like so many others in American agriculture, dairy exporters are enduring tremendous challenges in getting their high-quality products to customers in overseas markets, which puts our industry's reputation as a reliable supplier at risk,” said Harden. “Our competitors are eager to swoop in and scoop up those sales, which is why decisive actions by both Congress and the Administration are so critical to address the export supply chain crisis.”
Throughout the webinar, members of Congress, Biden Administration officials and speakers representing agricultural exporters, coastal ports and the trucking industry will identify key areas for improvement and set the stage for much-needed reforms.
“This is a complex situation that calls for a better understanding of not only what’s at stake but what must be done to provide solutions,” said Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant. “It makes no sense that over 70% of ships leaving the Port of Los Angeles are carrying empty containers after shipping companies refuse to load them with U.S. exports.”
Harden assumed her current role as president and CEO at USDEC in February 2021, leveraging her experience with agriculture, sustainability, food policy, and the federal government to help fulfill USDEC’s mission to promote U.S. dairy exports while enriching the well-being of people, communities, and the planet.
Before that, Harden served dual roles as USDEC’s chief operating officer and executive vice-president of global environmental strategy for Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), which manages the national dairy checkoff program. Harden also spent seven years working at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She served as assistant secretary for congressional relations, chief of staff for U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and deputy secretary.
The U.S. Dairy Export Council is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. Its mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and assist the U.S. industry to increase its global dairy ingredient sales and exports of U.S. dairy products. USDEC accomplishes this through programs in market development that build global demand for U.S. dairy products, resolve market access barriers and advance industry trade policy goals. USDEC is supported by staff across the United States and overseas in Mexico, South America, Asia, Middle East and Europe. The U.S. Dairy Export Council prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, disability, national origin, race, color, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, marital status, military status, and arrest or conviction record. www.usdec.org.