The National Dairy Council was first formed by dairy farmers and processors to protect the public’s good image of dairy in light of a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak. Today, the dairy producer-funded NDC is a highly-credible science-based nutrition information resource to schools, health professionals, media and other thought leaders.

Dairy farmers found the American Dairy Association to promote U.S. milk products to consumers through advertising and retail promotions. ADA is best known for its use of the “REAL Seal” on U.S.-made dairy products and on other products containing U.S. dairy.

United Dairy Industry Association (UDIA) is formed by the merger of National Dairy Council® (NDC) and American Dairy Association® (ADA). Following the merger, additional funding from member state and regional organizations was allocated to national programs.

At the request of the dairy industry, Congress enacts The Dairy and Tobacco Adjustment Act ("The Act"), which creates the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB). A subsequent U.S. Department of Agriculture Order ("The Order") outlines the provisions for operating the national dairy producer checkoff program. One year later, the Secretary of Agriculture appoints the first National Dairy Promotion and Research Board, and demand-building programs begin.

In a referendum called by the Secretary of Agriculture, dairy farmers vote 71 percent in favor of retaining the dairy checkoff program.

To coordinate national and local dairy promotion programs,  NDB and UDIA board members create Dairy Management, Inc.™ (DMI) as the organization responsible for increasing demand for U.S.-produced dairy products on behalf of America’s dairy farmers.

DMI forms the U.S. Dairy Export Council® (USDEC) to leverage investments of processors, exporters, farmers and industry suppliers to enhance the U.S. dairy industry’s ability to serve international markets. Checkoff dollars and USDEC membership dues fund the organization.

Following a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that confirmed the constitutionality of commodity checkoff programs as “government speech,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia affirms the constitutionality of the dairy producer-funded checkoff program, reversing an earlier decision.

Congress amends the Act and USDA amends the Order to implement a dairy import assessment program. The program assesses the equivalent of 7.5 cents per hundredweight of milk on imported dairy products and adds two importer members to the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board.