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


Mark O'Keefe
(571) 481-7873

ARLINGTON, VA – A high-level delegation co-led by USDEC President & CEO Krysta Harden and Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) Chair Marilyn Hershey this week showcased U.S. dairy’s key contributions to global climate and food security goals at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, 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. 

In addition to engagement through the pavilion, at side events, and in meetings with other COP27 participants, USDEC co-hosted with IICA a reception and dinner on Nov. 10 that featured case studies demonstrating agriculture’s power as a climate solution through innovation, adaptation and productivity growth. 

USDEC President & CEO Krysta Harden commented: 

“At this pivotal moment for agriculture and climate, USDEC is honored to contribute to the global conversation on sustainability generated by COP. More importantly, COP27 is the perfect platform to share our ambitious commitments, celebrate progress, and realistically communicate the hard work that remains to secure U.S. dairy’s critical role in a more sustainable global food system. 

“We are proud of U.S. dairy producers’ progress and leadership thus far. But we know we can do more. Our goal is to supply a hungry world with nutritious, responsibly produced U.S. dairy. By working with outstanding partners like IICA, we can sustainably keep agriculture in the Americas at the forefront of feeding a growing population.” 

USDEC panels in IICA’s Sustainable Agriculture of the Americas Pavilion are specifically focused on the following:

Climate Smart and Sustainable Dairy Production 

   --Krysta Harden, President and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC).

   --Donald Moore, Executive Director of Global Dairy Platform (GDP).
   --Caroline Emond, Director General of International Dairy Federation (IDF).
   --Marilyn Hershey, Dairy Farmer and Chair at Dairy Management Inc.
   --Cecilia Jones, Climate Change & Sustainability Technical, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Uruguay.  

Video presentation highlighting South/Central America dairy examples from La Federación Panamericana de Lecheria (FEPALE) was also given.

Sustainable Livestock: Part of the Solution to the Climate Crisis  

   --Margaret Zeigler, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Representative in the United States. 

   --Marilyn Hershey, Dairy Farmer and Chair at Dairy Management Inc.
   --Ruaraidh Petre, Executive Director of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB).
   --Robert Lowe, President, Canadian Cattlemen's Association.
   --Erin Fitzgerald, Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Farmers & Ranchers in Action. 

USDEC’s extensive participation in COP27 is part of ongoing efforts to demonstrate the critical leadership role U.S. dairy plays in advancing sustainable food systems around the world. USDEC and DMI have been working with the U.S. dairy sector and allied global dairy organizations for years to accelerate progress towards the UN sustainable development goals and advance the innovation and sustainable productivity growth that makes U.S. dairy a global environmental solution. 

Since COP26 in 2021, USDEC has backed major agricultural climate initiatives like Pathways to Dairy Net Zero, the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate, and the Coalition on Sustainable Productivity Growth for Food Security and Resource Conservation. Support for these organizations emphasizes U.S. dairy’s commitment to reduce its environmental impact further while continuing to fulfill the industry's critical role in food security and nourishing the world.


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.