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Work for U.S. Dairy Exports Continues During Coronavirus Crisis

By Mark O'Keefe
The goal is "business as usual" for workers connected by technology to USDEC headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, and nine international offices.
The U.S. Dairy Export Council is utilizing technology to stay connected and productive as the coronavirus crisis disrupts day-to-day life in countries around the world.
Utilizing smartphones, laptops, web-based video conferencing, chat-based collaboration tools and high-speed Internet connections, USDEC staffers have been productive working from their homes.
On Monday, March 23, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ordered the closure of non-essential businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19. That means the USDEC office in Arlington must lock its doors, even to those employees who preferred the quiet of the mostly-empty workplace.
All nine USDEC international offices remain operational. 
The work of USDEC continues.
"The goal is business as usual," said USDEC President and CEO Tom Vilsack in a telephone interview from his home.
"We are constantly looking, every single day, for ways we can utilize the unfortunate situation we are faced with by working constructively and proactively. When we get through this and on the other side of this situation, we will be able to do an even better job for the industry and for our dairy farmers."
Vilsack, a former U.S. Agriculture Secretary, answered three questions about USDEC's contributions to the U.S. dairy industry during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
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