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Association Continued from page 21 supporters believe diversion of UCO from feed will increase use of soybean oil to replace it, resulƟng in increased soybean producƟon and release of more carbon into the atmosphere. NRA believes no ILUC value should be applied to UCO since it is not primarily a major feed ingredient. The associaƟon is coordinaƟng opposiƟon to the ILUC proposal with European customers. Legislative Advocacy It is a team effort when it comes to NRA’s lobbying program in Washington, DC. The association’s job is to advocate on behalf of the rendering industry on priority issues affecƟng the industry’s ability to do business and its freedom to operate. One of NRA’s greatest poliƟcal strengths is the rendering industry’s huge footprint across the country. Renderers operate in almost every state and in hundreds of congressional districts. This translates into grassroots ability to gain a listening ear of many members of Congress in the House of RepresentaƟves and Senate. In 2017, NRA’s priority legislaƟve issues are tax reform and biodiesel, overturning environmental regulaƟons, food waste legislaƟon that could potenƟally reduce raw material supplies, the new farm bill, and funding from USDA for NRA’s international marketing programs. Since “expect the unexpected” is a given in Washington, DC, politics, there undoubtedly will be addiƟonal issues that will offer opportunities and dangers for renderers. Much depends upon the actual prioriƟes of the new Trump administraƟon and Congress, which are sƟll being revealed as this goes to press. NRA’s political consultant, Steve Kopperud of SLK Strategies, is NRA’s lobbyist on Capitol Hill. This author oŌen accompanies him to educate congressional staff and members of Congress on specifics of the rendering industry and the impacts of proposed legislation. Kopperud has extensive experience in animal agriculture and the feed industry in the Washington, DC, poliƟcal world. Each year, renderers come to NRA’s Washington Fly-in held in June. They meet with their members of Congress on important rendering issues, partake in an industry issues briefing with top government experts and customers, and aƩend a legislaƟve breakfast featuring a congressional speaker. This year’s fly-in will be especially important. Speakers will talk about what a Trump administraƟon and new GOP-controlled Congress mean for renderers, American agriculture, and the nation. The fly-in also offers outstanding networking opportuniƟes with others in the rendering industry. Mark your calendars for this year’s fly-in, June 12-14, 2017. Communications and Education Increasing understanding of the rendering industry is a major priority of NRA’s 2020 Strategic Plan and is reflected in this year’s communicaƟons projects. To reach students and excite them about rendering, a “Rendering 101” teaching module was sent in January to university and community college meat science professors at schools across the country. The slide set can be used on its own to teach a session on rendering or be incorporated into a more general curriculum on livestock agriculture. With greater awareness of rendering and its good career prospects, the industry hopes to aƩract outstanding young talent and build appreciaƟon for its role among future agriculture leaders. NRA will also adapt this Rendering 101 introducƟon for use by its members to educate their local communiƟes. It will include slides and a speech that members can tailor for their companies, employees, and local issues. NRA is updaƟng its popular North American Rendering handbook this year to include informaƟon on the rendering process, rendered ingredients, and safety as well as pet food, sustainability, biofuels, and other issues that have gained importance since the last guide was published. It will add new material to NRA members’ business toolbox and provide a valuable resource for foreign government officials and overseas buyers about the industry. The handbook will be translated for use by NRA foreign offices and export consultants. To raise awareness about rendering’s posiƟve environmental benefits among restaurant customers, NRA is developing an informaƟon kit renderers can use to promote their services to their UCO accounts. The goal is to build customer loyalty, encourage UCO and grease recycling, and provide “green” information restaurants can use to promote their own commitment to sustainability and the environment. During 2017, NRA plans to maintain a strong web presence and provide publicaƟons to keep members up-to-date on informaƟon affecƟng their business. This Year’s NRA Meetings All NRA members and companies with an interest in joining are invited to NRA’s meeƟngs this year that provide unparalleled networking and educaƟonal opportuniƟes. Many say these rendering meeƟngs are an essenƟal part of doing business. Mark your calendars for NRA’s 2017 Spring MeeƟng, April 18-20 at The Four Seasons hotel in Chicago, Illinois. NRA’s 2017 Annual ConvenƟon will be held October 23-27 at The Ritz Carlton in San Juan, Puerto Rico. With a new poliƟcal agenda in Washington, DC, major changes are ahead. Some are known but many are not. NRA will be closely involved as Trump and his poliƟcal appointees take control of government and chart their own agenda. R Reach more customers... By advertising in Render! Published six times a year, Render is read by thousands of potential clients, with thousands more on our website. And 2017 rates are held at 2007 levels! Why wait? (530) 306-6792 • editors@rendermagazine.com • www.rendermagazine.com 22 February 2017 Render www.rendermagazine.com


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