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UW-Madison Hires Cornell Expert as New Dairy Policy Director
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 04/30/2010

A dairy market expert with Cornell University in New York is moving back to the Dairy State to become the new director of dairy policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and UW-Extension. Mark Stephenson will play a major leadership role in dairy communication and education for the school and Extension programs. He is expected to begin his new duties on July 1.

"We are thrilled that someone of Mark's caliber will be joining our staff," said CALS Interim Dean Irwin Goldman. "Mark Stephenson's arrival in Wisconsin will help assure our position at the leading edge of dairy policy analysis for years to come."

Stephenson has been a regular contributor to U.S. dairy policy discussion both with USDA and with Congress. Before his time at Cornell, he spent three years in the Department of Agricultural Economics at UW-River Falls where he also worked in dairy Extension. In his new role serving the dairy industry in Wisconsin, Stephenson brings considerable expertise in understanding of the complexity of international dairy markets.

"For many years the United States dairy interests had the luxury of being able to focus almost exclusively on its domestic industry," Stephenson said while reflecting on some time he spent recently in New Zealand and Australia. "Because imports and exports comprised such a small portion of product, we simply didn't have to worry about the rest of the world. That situation is no longer the case and world trade in dairy products and the competitiveness of the U.S. dairy industry is a new and important consideration."

In considering his new role with UW-Madison, Stephenson said he applauds Wisconsin's vision to create the new position. He hopes he'll be able to bridge dairy-related disciplines and move the state toward a common purpose as the dairy industry steps forward into a more complex and competitive environment.

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