By working with Michael Torrey Associates, Edge has been able to further its federal policy goals and presence in D.C. for our dairy farmers and we know our voice is making a difference.
Tim Trotter, executive director of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative.
Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative
“Founded in 2010, Edge is the voice of milk and continues to build its profile within both the dairy community, and with Congress and the administration,” said Tim Trotter, executive director of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative. “By working with Michael Torrey Associates, Edge has been able to further its federal policy goals and presence in D.C. for our dairy farmers and we know our voice is making a difference.”
Case Study: Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative Increases D.C. Profile Through Fly-In
Michael Torrey Associates (MTA) started representing Edge in 2017 to help ensure the co-op had an effective presence at the federal level. With a growing membership in nine Midwestern states and a long list of policy priorities, Edge members were ready to increase their advocacy efforts in D.C. To start, Edge turned to MTA for guidance on how to build a successful annual trip to Washington that could be recreated every year while maintaining flexibility to meet the needs of its growing membership.
Experienced with organizing fly-in events and familiar with dairy policy issues, MTA was the natural fit to assist Edge. MTA and Edge staff coordinated the group’s first fly-in in June 2017. Work included securing meeting space, organizing travel logistics, identifying key meeting targets, arranging meetings and creating individual agendas for attendees. MTA also worked with stakeholder organizations to coordinate meetings, prepared necessary background materials for attendees and drafted issue backgrounders. Additionally, during the event, MTA staff provided a briefing on the topics the group would be discussing on Capitol Hill and gave a “Lobbying 101” overview before attendees headed to the Hill.
This first fly-in resulted in a successful two-day meeting that was attended by seven dairy farmers, Edge staff and the MTA team. Attendees participated in 24 meetings with Capitol Hill offices and the administration and were able to share personal insights from their farms. This informed discussions about important national issues, including trade, regulatory reform and developing a sustainable workforce for agriculture.
In 2018, following this first-of-its kind event for the co-op, Edge hosted its second fly-in with the help of MTA, this time during National Ag Day on March 20. During this second fly-in, the group conducted 30 meetings, including with key staff at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and with issue experts at the embassies of Canada and Mexico. Edge’s annual trip to Washington is now known as “Dairy Speaks in D.C.” and is a valuable benefit for Edge members that helps them engage directly with lawmakers in Washington, establishing relationships with policymakers that will ensure Edge is the go-to resource on issues impacting the dairy community. The cooperative is committed to growing these events and making them even more impactful in the future.
MTA is dedicated to providing Edge with top-quality service to help them deliver on the co-op’s mission of giving every farmer a strong voice in Washington.
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