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Plant Tours: As Washington Slows Down, Activity at Home Should Heat Up

Jul 30, 2014

With Members of Congress returning home to their districts for an extended recess, August offers an ideal time for dairy processors across the country to use this legislative downtime to host their representatives and senators at their processing facilities for educational tours.

“Legislators value the opportunity to tour businesses that are making a positive contribution to their states and districts,” said Ashley Burch, IDFA director of political programs. “And for IDFA members, plant tours offer an excellent way to connect on a personal level with lawmakers and allow them to see firsthand what dairy businesses need to be successful.”

Through the GrassRoots Action Network for Dairy (GRAND) program, IDFA is actively engaged in coordinating dairy plant tours for Members of Congress. IDFA can facilitate tours by putting member companies in touch with the appropriate staff for their legislator, secure tour dates and times, prepare a tour agenda and, if desired, provide talking points on key dairy issues. However, members need not worry that they or their employees are unprepared for an in-depth policy discussion.

“One misconception is that a plant tour has to involve a hearty policy discussion, and this is simply not true,” said Burch. “Plant tours are really all about your business. And who knows your business better than you?”

A typical plant tour lasts about an hour, covers the history and current function of the plant, allows opportunities for the legislators to meet and greet plant employees, pose for photos and, when possible, sample product right off the line.

Members interested in arranging a plant tour with a Member of Congress or looking for more information on the GRAND program or how to reach their Members of Congress may visit the GRAND page or contact Ashley Burch, IDFA director of political programs, at (202) 220-3534 or

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