Written by Matt Winslow who is the current NAICC president.
Every March while Congress is in session, the NAICC Executive Board and its Leadership and Government Affairs Committees convene for our annual spring-board meeting and Crawfish Boil on the Hill. During that time, in addition to handling regular NAICC business, we identify key issues in agriculture that affect our membership and their clientele as topics for discussion during our legislative visits. The NAICC routinely visits with key stakeholders within USDA, EPA, commodity groups, and members of House and Senate Ag committees not only to raise their awareness of these key issues, but to offer support through our organization as a resource for agricultural issues across this country.
Last year, we even had the distinguished opportunity to present our NAICC Service to Agriculture Award to Secretary Sonny Purdue. After our visits on the Hill, our time in DC culminates with our annual Crawfish Boil on the Hill. The Crawfish Boil was started over 30 years ago by several of our founding Louisiana consulting members, Ray Young and Roger Carter. It offers NAICC a unique opportunity to associate with our legislators and their staff and further strengthen the relationships we have developed over an old-fashioned, low country menu of crawfish etouffee, red beans and rice, and boiled crawfish. Last March we had well over 250 in attendance from various offices that we visited throughout the day, including 8 members of Congress.
It never ceases to amaze me how accessible our government truly is. It is nearly as easy to schedule an appointment and visit with my local district Congressman’s office as it is to walk into the Smithsonian. I urge you to take the time to establish a relationship with your Senators or Representatives. Often, it’s as easy as a phone call or an email to let them know who you are, who the NAICC is, and how you can be a resource if there is an agricultural related issue applicable to your area.
The NAICC is comprised of members that represent nearly every agricultural geography in North America and is expanding its footprint in many other countries. We are growing into a valuable agricultural resource and its through your voice and involvement that we are heard in DC.