You can help AAMP and your own business by contacting members of Congress about legislation or regulations affecting the meat industry. In order to get in touch with your members of Congress, go to the website listed below and enter your zip code. Your two U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative will be posted, with easy ways to contact them, including e-mail, phone and regular mail. You may also call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Senators’ and/or Representative’s office.
Both the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) offer resources to assist producers in contacting their members of Congress. Use these sites to contact Congress regarding current issues of importance for agriculture.
Tips on Writing Congress
The letter is the most popular way to contact a Congressional office. If you decide to write a letter, the list below reviews some helpful suggestions that will improve the effectiveness of the letter.
- Your letter should be short, preferably one page, courteous and to the point.
- Write only about one issue.
- You should state the purpose of your letter in the first paragraph.
- If you are writing about particular legislation, identify it as Senate Bill: S._____, or House Bill: H.R._____.
- State your support or opposition to the bill. Mention key points and use examples to support your position.
- Mention key points and use examples to support your position.
To a Senator
- The Honorable (full name)
- ____ (Room number) ____ (Name of) Senate Office Building
- United States Senate
- Washington, DC 20510
- Dear Senator (last name):
To a Representative
- The Honorable (full name)
- ____ (Room number) ____ (Name of) House Office Building
- United States House of Representatives
- Washington, DC 20515
- Dear Representative (last name):
Note: When you write to the Chair of a Committee or to the Speaker of the House, you should address them as: Dear Mr. Chairman or Madam Chairwoman, or Dear Mr. Speaker.
Tips on Emailing Congress
Generally, the same guidelines apply as with writing letters to Congress. You may find and email your Senators and Representatives directly from the website www.congress.org. For the subject line of your e-mail, identify your message by topic or bill number. The body of your message should use this format:
- Your Name
- City, State, ZIP Code
- Dear (Title) (Last Name),
- Start your message here.
Visiting Members of Congress
If you decide to visit members of Congress, the list below reviews some helpful suggestions that will improve the effectiveness of your visit.
- Determine who you want to see and plan your visit carefully.
- Make an appointment by contacting the Member’s appointment secretary or scheduler. Explain the purpose for the meeting and who you represent.
- Be prompt for the meeting and patient. Also be flexible. It is not uncommon for a Member to be late, or have the meeting interrupted, due to crowded schedules. You might have to continue your meeting with a staff person.
- Be well-prepared. Bring information and materials supporting your position. The Member may not know a lot about the issue, so it is your job to educate her or him.
- Be political! Demonstrate the connection between what you are asking and the Member’s constituency. Tell how you can help and ask the Member for a commitment!
- Follow up! Be ready to answer questions or provide additional information. Follow up your meeting with a thank you letter outlining what you discussed during the meeting, and send along additional materials or information requested.