The National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS) had its inception in 1946 when the Conference of State and Territorial Health Officers requested the U. S. Public Health Service to develop a plan for the certification of interstate milk shippers. In 1949, representatives of several Midwestern states met in Indianapolis, Indiana for the purpose of discussing the problems of determining whether some plan could be developed to address a more effective and efficient system of regulating the interstate shipment of milk products. As a result, representatives of eleven Midwestern states met in Chicago, Illinois in February, 1950 to investigate the problems and to arrange for a national conference.
The first Conference was held in St. Louis, Missouri on June 1, 1950, with representatives from 22 state Departments of Health or Agriculture and the District of Columbia in attendance. Also attending the Conference were representatives of the dairy industry.
The Procedures accepted by the first Conference in 1950 have been used to advantage by states in developing sound and more uniform milk sanitation programs. They have led to the development of a greater degree of reciprocity between states on acceptance of inspection and laboratory results. The Procedures have been revised from Conference to Conference in order to best serve the needs of the parties involved.
The NCIMS has served as a model cooperative program between the U. S. Public Health Service/Food and Drug Administration, the states, and the dairy industry. It is a shining example of esprit de corps, and reflects the cooperative spirit of all those committed to ensuring a safe and wholesome supply of milk and milk products. A more in-depth history of the NCIMS is available by contacting the Executive Secretary of NCIMS.