John Hollay Arlington, Virginia Director of Government Relations National Milk Producers Federation

What education are you bringing with you to this position?
I graduated cum laude from the University of Connecticut with a degree in political science.

Please describe your agricultural background.
My family has operated a dairy farm in Stafford, Connecticut, now under the control of my uncle Rudy Hollay. This meaningful and personal connection to the dairy industry has proven to be a vital asset for me as I have worked on agricultural issues over the years.

What are your new responsibilities?
I work with the staff at National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and our member cooperatives to inform members of Congress and their staffs about issues of concerns to dairy farmers.

What previous positions have you held?
I have worked on five congressional campaigns and served as a legislative aide in the Connecticut State Senate. For the last five and a half years I have worked for Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-2), first as the deputy district director and later as a legislative assistant, rising to the rank of senior legislative assistant before making the move to NMPF.


While working for Rep. Courtney, I helped revive the Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus, which resulted in nearly 100 members of Congress forming a coalition to work together on issues of concern to dairy producers.

What excites you most about working in your new role?
Being able to work with farmers and farmer cooperatives on a daily basis. While I was probably never destined for a job on the farm, I truly enjoy being able to help farmers navigate the rocky terrain of legislative and regulatory issues that impact their businesses.

How will your activities in your new role be of help to dairy producers?
I am hopeful that I can use the skills I learned and the relationships I made on Capitol Hill to help the dairy farmers and cooperatives we represent. In my work to revive the Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus, I worked closely with Republicans and Democrats alike to solve problems facing dairy farmers. I think those relationships will be a true asset as we continue work on the 2012 Farm Bill and other issues.

Why did you choose this organization?
While leaving Congressman Courtney’s office was not an easy choice, NMPF gives me the opportunity to work with dairy farmers and remain actively engaged in public policy.

Over the years I have had the chance to work with a number of the staff at NMPF and see firsthand the work they do. Those experiences made the jump to NMPF much easier for someone like me who puts a premium on loyalty, dedication and hard work.

What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
I would like to help pass a farm bill that includes vital reforms to current dairy policy. I also hope to build on the success we had reestablishing the Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus. If we can help educate farmers, members of Congress and the public about the challenges dairy farmers face, I believe that we can get past regional and political differences and accomplish meaningful reform.

In the end, if I can play even a small role in advancing policies that help save family farms and an American way of life, I will consider it a job well done. PD