AUGUSTA – Theodore “Tade” Sullivan has joined the Maine Dairy Industry Association as executive director. MDIA is the trade association representing all Maine dairy cattle farms transporting milk off the farm for processing and/or sale.

Sullivan was most recently Director of Development at Maine Maritime Academy and brings more than 20 years of fundraising, advocacy and nonprofit management experience to the position, according to a Jan. 18 news release.

Sullivan is a recognized expert on the US Farm Bill, renewable energy and federal crop insurance, the press release said. He has over 20 years of lobbying and public affairs experience, specializing in advocacy for our country’s farm families in private practice, agricultural trade associations and government.

He has helped craft important laws on behalf of our nation’s farmers, including portions of the US Farm Bill, the Renewable Fuels Standard, and the Water Resources Development Act. He has developed innovative product proposals for review by the Federal Crop Insurance Board.

Nominated by President Clinton to serve at the USDA as Director of Legislative and Public Affairs for the Farm Service Agency, Sullivan received the Vice President’s Award for Reinventing Government. He served as legislative aide to the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and was a member of the Secretary of Agriculture’s Civil Rights Task Force. He previously served as chairman of the Iowa Rural Development Council and vice chairman of the Wallace Centers of Iowa.

MDIA began the search for a new executive director after Julie-Marie Bickford moved to the Maine Milk Commission, where she now serves as executive director. “We look forward to working with Tade and are confident he will provide a balanced representation of all aspects of dairy farming in Maine. His years of training on a dairy farm and his professional experience will allow him to promote actions and policies aimed at encouraging sustainability, resilience and financial solvency in order to promote the continued production of quality Maine milk that can feed the people of Maine,” Dale Cole, chairman of the MDIA board of directors, said in the press release.

Sullivan is a graduate of Bradford College in Massachusetts and the Empire State Agricultural Leadership Institute at Cornell University. He and his wife Sue are parents to four boys. He is a volunteer and member of many civic organizations including the Peninsula Ambulance Corps Board of Directors, Ira Berry Lodge 128, Friendship Lodge 509 and the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite.

Sullivan will represent Maine dairy farmers as Executive Director of MDIA and will execute activities to support, improve and increase the overall viability of Maine’s agricultural sector.

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