Earlier this month, we hosted members from across the country for FRA’s Fly-In and Fall Board meeting.  We met with 86 different Congressional offices as advocates of the forest products supply chain and have received great feedback.  In addition to these meetings on the Hill, we met with staff from the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation and are already scheduling follow-up meetings to help advance changes in administrative rules where needed.

This year saw an increase in FRA members attending the Fly-In, and we would like to thank everyone who made the trip to Washington.  Getting in front of these Congressional offices provides opportunities to advance the issues we advocate for including Truck Weight Reform, the AG Act, Independent Contractor Status, Tax Reform, and the Resilient Federal Forests legislation, which has passed out of committee and now includes both the Future Logging Careers Act and Timber Innovation Act.

I encourage those who attended and haven’t yet filled out the Fly-In reporting form to do so here.  Filling out this form helps us with the important task of continuing the dialogue with both Members of Congress who are already favorable to FRA’s legislative agenda and those who need additional information as they learn more about the issues relevant to the forest products industry.

(FRA members and staff with Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin)

(FRA members with Arkansas Senator John Boozman)

FRA’s national office continues to advocate for these issues day-to-day in Congress, and your voice provides a much-needed boost to these efforts. Offices on the Hill have routinely indicated the importance of hearing from people in the field in better understanding how these issues impact the day-to-day operations of our industry.

We capped our day on the Hill off with a unique opportunity to visit the Speaker’s Balcony and took some great pictures from our Nation’s Capitol.

(FRA members on the Speaker’s Balcony)

Beyond our advocacy efforts, members heard from a dynamic group of speakers including Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin, Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania, Fox News Contributor Amos Snead and Retired Lt. General Howard Bromberg. These speakers gave unique insights into what’s going on in Congress and how we can better advocate for our issues on the Hill as well as helping us to understand how to reach out to veterans for employment in the industry.

Once again, we would like to thank all those who were able to attend and make this year’s Fly-In a great success.

Ryan Rhodes | FRA Director of Public Relations and Government Affairs

Ryan Rhodes joins the FRA team as our Director of Public Relations and Government Affairs. Ryan has worked in both the communications and management of multiple Federal races and issue advocacy organizations.  He is a trusted policy advisor, strategist, leader, strategic communicator and consultant.  Having worked closely with many individuals in the incoming administration his contacts will prove valuable to the efforts of FRA.  Ryan served as project manager on many successful large scale events and issue advocacy campaigns specializing in grassroots lobbying efforts to shape policy on both a state and federal level.  Ryan attended Iowa State specializing in Turfgrass management.