Many of us are asking ourselves where the summer went, and it is difficult to find a good answer. I hope you had some deserved downtime with family at some point. Here at the American Bakers Association (ABA), it seemed like there was little abatement on the policy front. Congress made incremental progress on federal spending bills, several of which contain provisions ABA is advocating. The regulators continued to push an aggressive regulatory agenda. In fact, even the traffic in Washington, D.C.—widely regarded as worst in the nation—didn’t let up this summer.

As Washington starts its mad dash to the end-of-the-year finish line, the plate of policy issues impacting the baking industry will continue to overflow. We also are very concerned about—and working hard to find—interim solutions to ease the potential return of the avian flu and the impact on egg supplies. Have no doubt, though, that ABA is on top of it.

If you have ever wondered how ABA develops its strategies and policies on the numerous issues impacting the industry, you have the opportunity to experience the process up close and personal. On Oct. 19–22, ABA will hold its Fall Policy Conference at the Marriott Marquis in Washington. Essentially a mini convention, the event will feature:

  • Multiple policy committee sessions
  • Advocacy education
  • Capitol Hill lobbying visits
  • The Bakers’ Dozen reception
  • Industry skills gap analysis
  • NextGenBaker executive leadership training

Networking with industry peers and senior leaders

The ABA and Allied Trades of the Baking Industry (ATBI) boards will also join us to host their annual joint boards meeting, which will a focus on evaluating strategies and conducting a round-table discussion on the issues impacting the industry. For questions about the ABA 2015 Fall Policy Conference, contact Matt Grogg at 202-789-0300 or

 These four days in October will offer attendees the perfect opportunity to strategize with peers, mingle with policymakers and the industry’s top executives, and contribute to the development of the next generation of baking industry leaders. After the dog days of summer, October would be a great time to join your industry in Washington.