In a few short weeks, Congress will head home for the month-long August recess. This summer break is an ideal time for IDFA member companies across the country to organize congressional plant tours while legislators are back in their states and districts.

Members of Congress value the opportunity to tour businesses that are making a positive contribution to their communities. For IDFA members, facility tours offer an excellent way to connect on a personal level with lawmakers, allowing them to see firsthand what dairy businesses need to be successful.

“Conducting a plant visit for your legislators and their staff is an excellent way to build relationships,” said Colin Newman, IDFA director of political affairs and strategic programs. “These plant tours provide valuable opportunities for lawmakers to meet with their constituents, hear the success stories and challenges of dairy food manufacturers and see firsthand how policies crafted in Washington impact businesses in their state or district.”

Need help organizing a tour? IDFA can facilitate tours by putting IDFA members in touch with the appropriate staff for their legislators, secure tour dates and times, prepare tour agendas and, if desired, provide message guidance on key dairy issues.

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 and pose for photos and, when possible, sample various products by the plant.

June and early July are the perfect time to book a tour as congressional offices are beginning to schedule their August activities. Maintaining and growing relationships with members of Congress is a critical part of IDFA’s legislative strategy, and the IDFA team is ready to help plan these visits. Members can review the Congressional Plant Tour Guide to learn more about hosting an event.

Companies interested in arranging a plant tour for members of Congress should contact Newman at


Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., toured Galliker Dairy Company’s plant in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, last summer, along with members of IDFA’s legislative team. (L to R): Tony Eberhard, IDFA vice president of legislative affairs; Donald Grady, IDFA manager of legislative affairs; Thompson;  Lou Galliker, chairman and president, Galliker Dairy Company; and Colin Newman, IDFA director of political affairs and strategic programs.