Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Culver’s to Fund Trips to FFA Convention

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. – April 26, 2016 – FFA members across the United States–all 629,367 of them–will have the opportunity to win money toward a trip for their chapter to the 2016 National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis, October 19-22. From celebrations to professional development and educational opportunities, this four-day event gives more than 60,000 students the chance to grow their chapters, their friendships and their own potential. This year, Culver’s hopes to make it possible for even more students to attend the convention by funding three chapters’ trips.
Hosted by Culver’s, the Second Annual FFA Essay Contest invites FFA members to write an essay to enter for the chance to be one of the chapters that Culver’s helps send to the convention. The top three essay writers will receive $7,500, $2,500 and $2,500, respectively, to help fund their chapters’ trips.
The essay contest is part of Culver’s Thank You Farmers program which recognizes how vital agriculture is to Culver’s success, while providing financial support to young people who want to make a career in agriculture. “Not only is this contest a way to show our support for FFA, but it’s also a great opportunity for Culver’s to hear firsthand from members about so many important agricultural topics,” shared David Stidham, vice president of marketing at Culver’s.
FFA members interested in entering the Second Annual FFA Essay Contest should visit www.culvers.com/essaycontest and submit an essay of 1,000 words or less about how they see modern technology is impacting the agricultural industry and their ag careers. The essay contest ends June 3, 2016, at 5 p.m. CDT, and the winners of the contest will be notified in late June.
Last year’s essay contest prompted members to write about the importance of advocating for agriculture. The winning essay was written by Hailey Hampton, a member of the Mackay, Idaho, FFA chapter, and discussed important things like taking the time to understand and appreciate farmers for all that they do. You can tag along with her chapter’s 12-day, 15-state trip to Louisville here.
To learn more about Culver’s efforts to support the next generation of America’s farmers, visit www.culvers.com/farmers.


Coalition Members Discussed Industry Priorities with Legislators in Washington

Washington, D.C., April 26, 2016 – Members of The American Pizza Community (APC) were on Capitol Hill on April 13th and 14th talking to legislators about policies that affect pizza stores, owners and employees.  The fly-in marked the fifth time small business franchise owners representing Domino’s, Godfather’s, Hungry Howie’s, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, as well as representatives from supplier partner Tomato Paradise Kitchen, came to Washington, D.C. to meet with Members of Congress and their staff – in total, more than 130 congressional offices.

Pizza franchise owners discussed the economic impact of the pizza industry, including the fact that pizza is a $38 billion industry in the U.S. that creates jobs for more than a million people.

Jordan Dorsch, a Papa John’s franchisee with 23 stores in Florida, participated in his first fly-in and met with 8 Members of Congress and discussed a range of issues.  “For pizza store owners, there are a number of initiatives that would severely inhibit the ability of small businesses to grow and create jobs for people in our community,” said Dorsch. “With our meetings last week, I saw first-hand why it’s important for Congress to hear directly from constituents about the impact legislation will have on us.”

Current legislation directly affecting the pizza industry includes:
The need to conduct a comprehensive economic study on the impact of mandatory overtime expansion before recent rule changes proposed by the Department of Labor take effect. The APC supports the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act (S. 2707 / H.R. 4773).
Addressing the National Labor Relation Board’s harmful joint employer rule that will destroy the relationship between independent franchisees and franchisors. The APC supports the Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act (S. 2015 / H.R. 3459).
Reforming the “one size fits all” menu labeling regulation imposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which calls for in-store nutrition labeling boards by allowing sensible, cost‐effective solutions for nutrition disclosure by requiring that pizza stores make the information available online.  Ninety percent of most major pizza chains take pizza orders remotely. The APC supports the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act (S. 2217) that was passed in the US House last fall (H.R. 2017).
Repealing the mandated Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as diverting more crop land for corn’s ethanol use has led to unprecedented high food cost for consumers.  The RFS has led directly to margin squeezes for pizza operators costing $18,000/quick service restaurant annually.  The APC supports the RFS Repeal Act (H.R. 703) or a limit to the corn ethanol mandate in the RFS Reform Act (H.R. 704) and the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act (S. 577).

“It was a terrific experience to represent my fellow franchisees, our brand and our industry in Washington D.C.,” said Chris Reisch, Domino’s franchisee based in Lexington, Kentucky. “The opportunity for face time with members and staffers to discuss topics that are critical to our industry, and us as small business owners within our communities, was invaluable.”