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Schoep’s Ice Cream Hosts Rep. Mark Pocan for Tour, Discussion

Aug 29, 2018

IDFA team members on Monday joined Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis. on a tour of Schoep’s Ice Cream Co., Inc. in Madison, Wisconsin. Alan Thomsen, the company’s president and CEO, and other family members who represent the company’s third-generation of owners and operators, hosted the meeting and tour.

Pocan this year fought to pass legislation that would fund research to help companies find sustainable solutions for ice cream co-product. During the tour, the congressman learned firsthand the importance of the bill he has championed, hearing direct accounts from employees with desires for a better solution. A version of the bill is currently being finalized by House and Senate negotiators.

“Congressman Pocan has been a true champion for dairy through his work to secure ice cream co-product research funding,” said Tony Eberhard, IDFA vice president of legislative affairs. “Thanks to the hardworking team at Schoep’s, the congressman was able to engage directly with the folks making ice cream and hear why this funding can make a difference for the industry.” 

Pocan, who represents the second congressional district in Wisconsin, was first elected to Congress in 2012. He sits on the House Committee on Appropriations. Within the committee he serves on the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies.

In addition to Eberhard, Donald Grady, manager of legislative affairs, attended the tour.

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L-R: Tom Stitgen, chief financial officer; Richard Thomsen, operations manager; Eric Thomsen, vice president; Alan Thomsen, president and CEO; Rep. Pocan; Michael Schoenherr, food safety manager; and Paul Orlowski, environmental, health and safety director.

Hosting a Legislative Tour

As the November 6 election date nears, members of Congress will spend more time in their home districts, offering many opportunities for facility tours among their campaign stops.

“Hosting a plant tour for your legislator and their staff is an excellent opportunity to build relationships for your company and show firsthand how your business operates and what it needs to be successful,” said Colin Newman, manager of legislative affairs and political programs. “With midterm elections on the horizon, IDFA members should seize opportunities to show members of Congress how policies crafted in Washington impact businesses in their home state or district.”

IDFA encourages members interested in arranging a plant tour for their legislators to contact Newman, at or (202) 220-3518.

IDFA has also created a Congressional Plant Tour Guide to help facilitate questions.

For more information on IDFA’s political advocacy efforts, visit and sign up for GRAND (Grassroots Action Network for Dairy).

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