(L to R) Senator Joni Ernst and Brad Galles, Wells Enterprises South plant manager, listen as Josue Ruiz, Wells Enterprises crew leader, talks about working at the plant.
Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) took a tour last Friday of the Wells Enterprises’ ice cream manufacturing facility in Le Mars, Iowa. During the tour, Wells employees had the opportunity to discuss issues affecting the dairy industry, including calls for labeling products containing ingredients made from genetically modified organisms (GMO), forthcoming legislation that would reauthorize Trade Promotion Authority and immigration reform.
The senator appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the dairy industry and, of course, enjoyed the delicious ice cream offered at the end of the tour. She selected a Champ® Caramel Lovers Ice Cream cone from a variety of tasty frozen treats.
“It was interesting to get her perspective on Washington, [with her] being on the job for four months now,” said Lesley Bartholomew, corporate communications manager for Wells Enterprises. “We made some great contacts with her local staff and now feel confident in reaching out to her whenever necessary.”
Legislators value the opportunity to tour businesses that are making a positive contribution to their states and districts, according to Ashley Burch, director of political programs for IDFA. “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 IDFA members in touch with the appropriate people in their legislators’ offices, setting tour dates and times, preparing tour agendas and, if desired, providing talking points on key dairy issues.
“Dairy businesses have a great opportunity with this new Congress to make facility tours a routine part of their year. Members of Congress want to hear directly from employers in their states and districts, and tours like this are an excellent way to open those lines of communication,” Burch said.
For more information, contact Burch at firstname.lastname@example.org.