At last year’s IDFA Forum 2019, a discussion about women of the dairy industry evolved into the new Women in Dairy Network. Cary Frye, IDFA’s senior VP of regulatory affairs, led the project and collaborated with dozens of dairy leaders over the last 12 months.
The Women in Dairy Network is set to formally launch this month at IDFA Forum 2020, taking place January 26-29 in Scottsdale, Arizona. There will be sessions and special events for the Network Advisory Council and prospective members.
The Network is meant to “support a stronger, more diverse future for US dairy,” through “expanding the presence and influence of women across the dairy industry,” according to IDFA.
“The Women in Dairy Network brings together established leaders with young professionals to create a forum that fosters mentoring, supports development, builds networking opportunities, and encourages leadership."
Through the Network, IDFA said it wants to provide a venue for women to support each other as they advance or start their careers in dairy, as well as connect leaders with up-and-coming professionals.
It will be a platform for women to discuss challenges and create shared strategies for advancing their careers. The group hopes to bring together women in all sorts of venues, from virtual to in-person, to learn, mentor and share best practices.
Tracy Boyle, director of employee relations and administrative services at IDFA and coordinator for the Network, said, “IDFA is proud to launch the Women in Dairy Network to build a stronger, more resilient and more diverse dairy industry for the future.”
Michael Dykes, president and CEO of IDFA, said, “As the one organization committed to advocating to ensure America’s dairy companies and people have the tools and resources they need to innovate and grow, IDFA is so pleased to offer the Women in Dairy Network as a platform to move our industry forward in a collaborative way.”
The Network will be guided by an Advisory Council of 25 women, all who are industry leaders from IDFA member companies and partners. They include executives from Yoplait-USA, The Kraft Heinz Company, Chr. Hansen, Glanbia Nutritionals, Land O’Lakes and more.
At the IDFA Forum 2020, about 15 women will serve as speakers and panelists. There will also be a session titled ‘The Power of Women in Dairy: Insights for Dairy Forum’ as well as an inaugural Women in Dairy Network Reception on January 27.
Those interested in joining the network can request information on IDFA’s website.