The U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog: Market Analysis, Research & News
  • This USDEC expert wants to keep families on dairy farms generation after generation

    By USDEC Staff June 15, 2023

    USDEC spotlights COO Martha Scott Poindexter as one of its "experts on exports" for National Dairy Month. 

    Martha Scott Poindexter's heart beats for agriculture. She grew up on a cotton, rice and soybean farm in Mississippi. She spent 23 years advancing agricultural policy on Capitol Hill.  

    Today, as the chief operating officer (COO) of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, Poindexter uses that Ag experience to work collaboratively with the dairy checkoff and Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) so that farmers get a strong return for their export investment.   

    "DMI and USDEC work hand-in-hand to help farmers sell milk ingredients and products," said Poindexter. "We cannot do our job without DMI and our farmers. Dairy farmers are our greatest source of funding which enables USDEC to serve them by promoting dairy and dairy products overseas.  

    "We know that farmers are our number one priority along with our member companies and working collaboratively with DMI helps USDEC succeed in carrying out our mission to feed healthy nutritious dairy to the world."  

    Poindexter is one of USDEC's “experts on exports” working for the leading "U.S. dairy export accelerator" and our ambitious mission to "enrich the well-being of people, communities and the planet.” In a series of articles and videos for National Dairy Month, some of our experts are stepping out from behind the scenes to explain how and why they serve the U.S. dairy industry.  

    It wasn't that long ago when exports were an afterthought. Today 18% of milk production goes into cheese and dairy ingredients shipped across our borders to a world increasingly hungry for dairy.   

    Despite COVID, a supply-chain crisis and other challenging issues, U.S. dairy exports have set all-time records for three consecutive years. Since 2010, dairy export volume has risen 76% -- and we're not done yet. Long-range supply-and-demand projections point to an even brighter future for U.S. dairy exports.   

    More than 95% of the world's population lives outside U.S. borders. More than 94% of U.S. dairy farms are family owned.   

    "I think U.S. dairy exports are one way that enables people to stay on their family farms generation after generation," said Poindexter, who works with President and CEO Krysta Harden from USDEC’s Arlington, Virginia, headquarters near Washington, D.C. 

    As COO, Poindexter manages a USDEC staff of more than 45 as well as international offices in Mexico/Central America, China, Japan, Middle East. Southeast Asia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, South America and South Korea.  

    Poindexter was named USDEC's COO two years ago, bringing extensive governmental and business experience with her.   

    Among other things, Poindexter was the first female to lead both the agriculture and intelligence committees, writing numerous farm bills and other agriculture, nutrition, and intelligence legislation. She spent six years at agribusiness giant Bunge in government affairs, advancing the company's export and commodity trading operations.  

    At USDEC, Poindexter leverages her farm, government, business and global trade knowledge for a U.S. dairy industry that benefits when dairy products are shipped out of our country to overseas markets USDEC helps open and expand. Without those global markets, where would 18% of U.S. milk production go?   

    Much of USDEC's work is done quietly, behind the scenes, leading the way so its member companies will succeed when they export overseas to places where they may not understand the language, culture and complex regulations.   

    “I'm passionate about the mission of the U.S. Dairy Export Council,” said Poindexter.

    To celebrate National Dairy Month, the U.S. Dairy Export Council is highlighting a few of its "exports on exports" to showcase how they serve the U.S. dairy industry with skill and passion. Also see:

    Opportunity beckons this USDEC expert at the World Dairy Summit in Chicago



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    The U.S. Dairy Export Council fosters collaborative industry partnerships with processors, trading companies and others to enhance global demand for U.S. dairy products and ingredients. Dairy Management Inc. is the primary funder of USDEC through the dairy farmer checkoff. How to republish this post.

    Farming Dairy checkoff Dairy Management Inc.
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