What is our Purpose?
The main thrust of the Conference is to deliberate proposals submitted by various individuals from state or local regulatory agencies, FDA, USDA, producers, processors, consumers, etc., who have an interest in ensuring that the dairy products we consume are safe. The proposals are assigned to one of three councils, who then discuss the merits of each proposal assigned to that council, with a resulting recommendation to the delegate body. Councils receive recommendations from Committees who have been created to include subject matter experts and individuals with an interest in the area.
Standing and Ad-Hoc Committees have been established to study various proposals and report their findings to the Conference. These studies and reports aid the council members and delegates in making informed decisions as they deliberate and vote on the proposals.
The delegate body is composed of representatives from each state and U. S. territory that chooses to send such a representative. Each state/territory has one vote. In some cases, a state has a split vote, i.e., they might have two representatives, one who is responsible for milk sanitation rating, and one who is responsible for enforcement of Grade A milk sanitation laws. In that instance, each representative would have a one-half vote, for a full one vote for that state. The delegates are the voting body. If you want more information on the voting process, see ARTICLE IV. of the Constitution. There were 50 states and 1 territory represented by delegates at the 2013 Conference held in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The NCIMS is governed by an Executive Board comprised of representatives from state and local regulatory agencies from three different geographical regions, FDA, USDA, industry, and laboratories and academia. The Board also includes, in a non-voting capacity, chairpersons from each of the three councils, chairperson of the NCIMS/FDA Liaison Committee, the NCIMS Past Chairperson, the Program Committee Chairperson, a representative from the National Milk Producers Federation, a representative from the International Dairy Foods Association, a consumer representative, a third party certifier representative and the NCIMS Executive Secretary. The Executive Board meets as necessary between Conference meetings to carry on the business of NCIMS.
Attendance at the Conference is not limited to persons within the United States or its territories. We have had persons in attendance from Canada, Columbia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany, Mexico, The Netherlands, Israel, Switzerland, Australia, and New Zealand. Those outside the United States are always welcome.