IFPA takes industry advocacy on the road
The International Fresh Produce Association’s Rebeckah Adcock and John Hollay traveled to Texas the first week of March to bring IFPA’s advocacy priorities to industry members, partners and policy makers.
Adcock, IFPA's vice president of government relations, participated in the Western Caucus Foundation’s Agriculture Summit and Field Tour in Fort Worth. The event brought together over a dozen Western Caucus members, including Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04) and Agriculture Committee Chair (GT) Thompson; over 40 congressional staff and important stakeholders.
Adcock served on a panel along with Rep. Michelle Fischbach (MN-7); Kaitlynn Glover of Public Lands Council and NCBA Natural resources; and Margaret Byfield of American Stewards. The panel was broadcast on the RFD-TV network and covered the upcoming farm bill negotiations.
“The farm bill is the single greatest investment in the specialty crop industry and funds many of the programs our industry relies upon to stay competitive and drive consumption of fruits and vegetables,” said Adcock. “Every five years Congress takes up a new farm bill and we have worked hard to develop our priorities to bring to Congress both through our work with our membership and with our allies in the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance. These policies will set the course for the future of our industry so it is vital that we ensure Congress understands the importance of the wide range of challenges and opportunities before us. It is that central to the US produce industry. I was happy to be invited to participate in such an important conversation between industry stakeholders and our Representatives in Congress.”
In addition to participating in the Western Caucus event, Hollay, IFPA’s director of government relations focusing on labor and workforce, was traveling through Texas to meet with members and industry partners. In addition to touring member facilities, like Little Bear Farms with IFPA’s GR Council Chair Bret Erickson, Wonderful Citrus, Fox Packaging and Frontera, Hollay also joined Texas International Produce Association President and CEO Dante Galeazzi for a tour of IFPA member Pharr International Bridge’s facility, a critical point of entry for the U.S.-Mexico border handling both commercial and civilian passenger vehicle crossing.
“We spend most days up on Capitol Hill advocating for IFPA’s priorities, but nothing prepares you more for the job than seeing the work our members do in person,” said Hollay. “I appreciate the time spent with our members this past week learning more about their priorities and ways our association can support them. It’s a privilege to be able to engage with industry leaders who are so committed to lending their voice to our advocacy efforts.”
Next month IFPA will host industry volunteers from a number of committees and councils in Washington at the Spring Policy & Regulatory Forum. In September, IFPA will invite all interested industry members to Washington, DC, to participate in The Washington Conference. In addition to education sessions and keynotes from key policy makers, both events will bring industry members to the Hill for face-to-face meetings with Representatives and their staffs.