The month of August is typically a quiet time in Washington, D.C., as members of Congress return to their home districts for recess, but it's been a busy time for many IDFA member companies. Taking their cues from IDFA's GrassRoots Action Network for Dairy, or GRAND, program, dairy processors across the country are using the legislative downtime to invite congressional leaders to their processing facilities for educational tours and policy discussions.
During this month alone, Davisco Foods International, Leprino Foods Company and Lactalis USA have hosted members of Congress. Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-SD) toured Davisco's Lake Norden, S.D., plant, while Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE) was welcomed to Leprino's Ravenna, Neb., operation, and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) visited Lactalis' Belmont, Wis., facility.
As the November 4 election date nears, members of Congress will spend more and more time in their home districts, offering many opportunities for facility tours along their campaign stops.
"There is no better way to connect on a personal level with lawmakers than by inviting them to your business and allowing them to see firsthand how it operates and what it needs to be successful," said Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president for legislative and economic affairs. "With important elections on the horizon, dairy processors would be wise to seize any opportunities available to show legislators the negative effects of many of the current dairy policies and help members of Congress understand why reforms are needed now."
For more information about arranging plant tours for members of Congress, visit www.dairycounts.org or contact Ashley Ruch, IDFA manager of political programs, at 202-220-3534 or firstname.lastname@example.org.