Representative Michael Conaway (left), now chair of the House Agriculture Committee, met with IDFA member representatives last year during IDFA's legislative fly-in.
Bruce Pronschinske, director of production operations for Kwik Trip, walked the halls of Congress with IDFA colleagues and staff last June for the first time and found it to be “an excellent educational experience.”
This year IDFA’s annual legislative fly-in, Advocacy Days, will be held June 17-18 in Washington, D.C. IDFA member representatives will attend briefings with top policy experts on pending legislation, including the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act and the proposed “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act,” which outlines a national, science-based labeling standard for foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Attendees will then participate in face-to-face meetings on Capitol Hill with their members of Congress and meet with administration officials.
“I found that it is critical for dairy industry leaders to engage with our country’s legislators on critical issues that have major impacts on our businesses,” said Pronschinske. “Attending a conference like this with the intent to ensure our legislators know who we are not only helps them understand our priorities but also puts a face to the issues when it comes time to cast their vote.”
Stewards of Their Brands
Advocacy Days immediately follows IDFA’s Regulatory RoundUP, the second annual conference that brings dairy professionals together with the decision makers and the regulatory officials who have direct responsibility for the rules that affect dairy plants, products and personnel.
“I particularly enjoyed accompanying those regulatory folks who decided to stick around for Advocacy Days,” said Chelsee Woodey, IDFA director of legislative affairs. “Brand-new to advocating on Capitol Hill, they had the opportunity to voice their constituent concerns to their elected officials. It was an eye-opener to a different group of employees at our member companies to see how they could be stewards of their brands to policymakers.”
IDFA member representatives who attend Regulatory RoundUP, June 16-17, are welcome to complimentary registration for Advocacy Days. Together, the two conferences offer comprehensive policy and regulatory discussions and advocacy with key federal officials and legislators.
Advocacy Days will be capped by the 33rd Annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party, a highly anticipated event that is attended by members of Congress, their families and staffs, and other special guests. The Hill's "coolest" summertime tradition provides a relaxed environment for IDFA members to continue talking with legislators and their staff. The party typically dishes up about 2,000 gallons of ice cream and frozen yogurt, 6,000 root beer floats and 44 cases of sundae toppings.
For more information and to register, visit Advocacy Days and Regulatory RoundUP.
Members with questions about Advocacy Days may contact Ashley Burch, IDFA director of political programs, at email@example.com.
Members with questions about Regulatory RoundUP may contact Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs and legal counsel, at firstname.lastname@example.org.