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FAQ 2: What does the U.S. Dairy Export Council do?

By Mark O'Keefe

FAQ 2: What does the U.S. Dairy Export Council do? 

Let us first make it clear what USDEC doesn't do.

USDEC does not and cannot export dairy products. As a nonprofit, independent membership organization we can and do represent the global trade interests of the entire U.S. dairy industry. We are dairy's experts on exports. Our main website is

Primarily funded by farmers through the dairy checkoff, USDEC’s mission is to promote dairy exports, enriching the well-being of people, communities and the planet. Dairy Management Inc., based in Rosemont, Illinois, founded USDEC, which has its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

With extensive expertise in trade policy, market access, regulatory affairs, dairy ingredients and cheese, the USDEC staff works to help farmers and USDEC members increase dairy exports.

In a clip below from a video interview with DMI's Scott Wallin, USDEC President and CEO Krysta Harden explains her passion. If USDEC succeeds, millions of people around the world will consume more U.S. dairy products and ingredients made with U.S. milk from U.S. dairy farms. This economic expansion will benefit American farm families and the rural communities where they live. 

Watch the entire six-minute DMI video of Harden explaining USDEC's vision here.

To increase demand in markets you have to be in those markets. 

That's why USDEC has eight global offices with "boots on the ground” providing eyes, ears, relationships and insights that benefit U.S. dairy farmers and the entire industry.

What else does USDEC do? Among other things:

  • Engage with food and beverage manufacturers, retailers, consumers, and food and dairy organizations worldwide.
  • Tell the story of U.S. dairy, about nutritious, high-quality products, cutting-edge technology, innovation, commitment to serving world markets, supply consistency and world-leading sustainability.
  • Connect our members with buyers and help them navigate the rules and regulations required to access high-potential markets.
  • Work with the U.S. government to advance trade policy that facilitates dairy trade.
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Video: Converting to a Co-operative: Something you maybe hadn’t thought about?

Presented by Fiona Duguid and Josée Charbonneau, Coop Convert

This presentation was part of Farm Transition Appreciation Day January 12, 2021, celebrating farm transition planning at every stage and helping you and your farm team take the next step in farm transition.

Whether you’re thinking about transitioning out of or into farming, one option, generally less known than others, is available to you : the cooperative option. The Conversion to Cooperatives Project is interested in the conversion of Canadian private businesses to cooperatives, as a way to ensure their succession. Our presentation addresses some of the most interesting results found, by focusing more specifically on examples of conversions that may be of use to agricultural current or future entrepreneurs.

Que vous envisagiez de quitter ou de démarrer des activités agricoles, une option, généralement moins connue que d’autres, s’offre à vous: l’option coopérative. Le projet de recherche Conversion en coopératives s'intéresse à la conversion d'entreprises privées Canadiennes en coopératives, comme moyen d'en assurer la relève. Notre présentation aborde certains des résultats obtenus dans le cadre de cette recherche, en se concentrant plus spécifiquement sur des exemples de conversions pouvant être utiles aux entrepreneurs agricoles, actuels ou futurs.

For more farm transition resources, visit, a one-stop-shop for transition planning tools and resources.