For Immediate Release Contact: Tina Wisell

April 22, 1998 (802) 229-1941

Compact Commission Hires New Executive Director

The Northeast Dairy Compact Commission today announced that Ken Becker has been selected as the new executive director for the Commission. Mr. Becker is the Deputy Agriculture Commissioner for the State of Vermont. He will take over as the Executive Director of the Compact Commission on May 18, replacing Dan Smith.

Compact Commission Chair Michael Wiers said he is very pleased with the results of the Commissionís search for an executive director. "The process worked well. We received and reviewed thirteen applications. We held initial interviews with five good candidates. A second round of interviews resulted in the selection of Ken Becker as our choice for the position."

He continued, "Mr. Becker has experience in and out of the dairy industry. While his experience is in the producer end of the industry, Mr. Becker demonstrated in the interview process and in his work at the Vermont Department of Agriculture that he understands the needs of the Compact to balance the interests of various constituencies."

"I believe that Ken Becker will be an excellent executive director and I look forward to working with him," Wiers concluded.

Mr. Becker has been the Deputy Vermont Agriculture Commissioner since 1995. Prior to that he served as Agricultural Loan Officer with the Vermont Economic Development Authority for six years. He has a Bachelors degree in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University and a Masters degree in International Administration from The School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont. Mr. Becker grew up on a dairy farm in Berne, New York and operated the farm in partnership with his parents during the early 1980ís.

Becker stated, "I am excited by the opportunity to continue the good work started nearly ten years ago by people throughout New England to stabilize milk prices for both farmers and consumers and protect our natural resources."

Dan Smith, who started working on the Compact ten years ago and has served as the Commissionís Executive Director since it was established, is leaving the position to pursue other opportunities, including a contracting business.

"I am most pleased to know that the Commission will be in capable hands for the future," said Smith.

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