For the past few months, we introduced a new series called Election Watch, where we reviewed the House, Senate and presidential races and issues the Government Relations team is tracking. For our final installment of Election Watch, we’re introducing you to the newest member of the team, Julie Vieburg, LOLPAC manager.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I’m 46 days on the job located here in Arden Hills, Minnesota. I’m originally from Minnesota, but haven’t lived here full time since I was six. This means I have never driven in the snow…
I moved from Washington D.C. where I spent six years in fundraising and PAC management. At Land O’Lakes, I’m responsible for the LOLPAC and educating member-owners and employees about what we do to increase participation.
What is a PAC?
PAC stands for “Political Action Committee,” and it’s a tool used by trade associations, small and large businesses and corporations to support candidates for public office. In accordance with federal law, PACs are funded through voluntary contributions from individuals, not corporate entities.
Why does Land O’Lakes have a PAC?
Land O’Lakes’ PAC serves as a collective voice to give our eligible employees and member-owners a way to voluntarily show support for legislators and candidates who share our views or are open to learning more about agriculture. As more legislative and regulatory pressures are put on the agriculture and food industries, electing candidates who understand our business is more important than ever.
How is Land O’Lakes’ PAC related to Government Relations?
Land O’Lakes’ PAC and the Government Relations team work hand in hand to educate, support and help elect members of Congress that are champions of agriculture. Education plays a big part of this equation as only 34 out of 435 districts are more rural than urban and it takes 218 votes to pass legislation. So, the PAC and Government Relations team are continually working to educate Members of Congress that might not have experience with agriculture but still vote on our issues.
What are Land O’Lakes’ PAC’s priorities?
As a farmer owned cooperative, we have the opportunity to be a leader in the food and agribusiness industry. One key tool we use for thought leadership is political engagement. We want our leaders in Washington, D.C. to feel connected with our member-owners and employees all over the country. Whether it’s visiting an ag retail cooperative and Answer Plot® in rural Minnesota, paying a visit to a dairy farm in Tulare, California, or a meeting with senior leaders at headquarters, we have an extensive opportunity to educate elected officials about our company’s farm-to-fork reach.
Who does Land O’Lakes’ PAC contribute to?
Land O’Lakes’ PAC is bipartisan and supports lawmakers from all parties. LOLPAC contributes to lawmakers who are pro-agriculture and/or pro-business as well as those who hold key leadership positions in Congressional committees. The LOLPAC also contributes to trade associations to which we belong including CropLife America PAC, Grocery Manufacturers Association PAC, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives PAC, and National Milk Producers Federation PAC.
LOLPAC also supports the election of candidates to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate who best represent the interests of Land O’Lakes and the food and ag industries. LOLPAC does not contribute to presidential campaigns.
How much does Land O’Lakes’ PAC raise annually?
Currently, Land O’Lakes’ PAC raises approximately $200,000 on an annual basis from the voluntary contributions of our member-owners and employees.
How do I get involved with Government Relations efforts and the LOLPAC?
To get involved with LOLPAC, send an email to LOLPAC@landolakes.com
with your interest.
With the farm bill coming up, we need to start growing the LOLPAC to show support for legislators and candidates who share our views or are open to learning more about agriculture.
How can I get involved?
Email Julie Vieburg.