WASHINGTON, May 30, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tony Eberhard, the former deputy chief of staff and legislative director for Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), joined the International Dairy Foods Association's legislative team today as vice president of legislative affairs. In this position, Eberhard will work closely with IDFA members on policy development and legislative strategy while advocating for dairy foods companies and the dairy industry before the Congress and the Administration.
"Tony certainly knows his way around Capitol Hill. He has a stellar reputation for being able to navigate professionally and effectively through controversial and complex topics with positive results. We're very excited to have him on our team," said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA.
"IDFA is heading into some critical discussions on a variety of topics, including the upcoming farm bill, added flexibility to the types of milk served in schools and negotiations on existing and new trade agreements that will benefit dairy farmers, dairy foods companies and rural communities around the country," said Dave Carlin, senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy for IDFA. "Tony's well-known and respected ability to forge strong relationships and get things done will be a big plus for the dairy industry and our dairy company members."
Strength in Agriculture and Appropriations
Eberhard's successes on agricultural policy and appropriations have been a common thread throughout his career, both on and off Capitol Hill. Most recently, Eberhard guided Senator Hoeven's legislative agenda, overseeing efforts on the Agriculture Act of 2014, also known as the farm bill, as well as biotechnology labeling issues, immigration reform and White House budget negotiations – all important issues to the U.S. dairy industry.
Before that, he was a senior principal responsible for legislative affairs at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, where he spearheaded advocacy efforts to restore and protect lending by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utility Service and advocate for legislation on financial regulatory reform.
His experience before NRECA included working for two senators and two representatives in the House with an emphasis on agriculture. Eberhard was a staff member to Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), then ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Prior to that, Eberhard was deputy legislative director and then acting legislative director for Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), where he established the senator as a leader on agricultural issues with a focus on dairy and rural development.
Eberhard began his career on Capitol Hill in the House of Representatives, working first for Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) and then Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), where he addressed constituent concerns and helped to develop policy positions for her role on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture.
Eberhard earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo. He lives in Dumfries, Va., with his wife, Katie, and son, Jack.
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers with a membership of nearly 525 companies within a $125-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's nearly 200 dairy processing members operate more than 600 manufacturing facilities and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States. IDFA can be found at www.idfa.org.
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SOURCE International Dairy Foods Association