Dairy lobby names new CEO

Jim Mulhern will become chief executive and president of the National Milk Producers Federation on Jan. 1, the group announced Monday.

Mulhern, who is now the group's chief operating officer, originally joined the trade association as a lobbyist in 1985, two years after the Wisconsin native moved to Washington. He worked on the Hill for Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) and an aide to former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) during his 1992 campaign bid, specializing in farm issues.

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“I look forward to building further upon the relationships and successes of the past, but with a clear focus on addressing the challenges to dairy farming’s future,” Mulhern said in a statement.

Between stints at the National Milk Producers Federation, he worked at the firms Fleishman-Hillard, The Fratelli Group, and Watson/Mulhern, where he kept in close contact with the trade association, acting as a consultant for many of its projects.

“We are very excited to have such a knowledgeable and capable leader at the head of our team in the coming years.  The importance of experience cannot be underestimated in a complex industry like ours,” said Chairman Randy Mooney, a dairy producer from Rogersville, Mo.

The organization's President and CEO Jerry Kozak announced he would retire at the end of the year. He has served as the group’s head since 1997.