RDL & Associates Client Services

Overview

RDL & Associates, LLC was formed by Dave Ladd in 2011 to assist clients seeking solutions to public policy issues, strategic communications and grassroots engagement. We contribute strategic advice as an expert consultant to our clients, including; government relations, strategic communications, grassroots advocacy, message development, and online outreach.

RDL & Associates also assists clients in program and project design with a focus on establishing new opportunities for their customers or members via the building of strategic alliances and cross-sector coalitions. We work with a wide range of organizations to advance their message across various sectors.

With 20 years of background and expertise in public policy development and analysis, as well as experience in the public and private sectors, RDL & Associates President Dave Ladd has an understanding of the issues and the ability to manage projects to achieve client objectives. His unique blend of experience is an asset that benefits his clients on numerous levels. He has a broad range of contacts at the federal, regional and state levels and he has developed relationships with key leaders in production agriculture, the renewable energy sector, agribusiness, financial institutions, state and federal government and Capitol Hill.

RDL & Associates is committed to providing quality service to ensure successful outcomes and results for clients.

Relationships

Relationships are the cornerstone of success. RDL & Associates has the experience necessary to develop the relationships your organization needs in the policy arena. Our years of experience have allowed us to build the ties needed to guide your organization through the policy landscape, create an effective rapport with legislators and stakeholders and direct you to the policymakers who can help fulfill your organization’s goals. RDL & Associates has the credibility and skill to help you build the personal links required in the modern policy process.

Government Relations

Our company is exceptionally skilled at providing clients with advice on how to navigate the bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., as well as at the state and local levels of government Whether you are looking to tackle a specific legislative issue or are simply interested in developing stronger relationships with key legislators and government entities, RDL & Associates can formulate and implement a strategy to help you achieve your objectives. By analyzing issues, developing arguments, and offering hands-on attention to help you achieve your goals, RDL & Associates is equipped to provide lobbying and consulting services targeted to all of your organization’s policy interests.

Strategic Counsel & Crisis Management

During the most challenging and sensitive business circumstances, how an organization responds often governs the extent of damage to its reputation. RDL & Associates provide strategic and tactical counsel to corporations, small business, and ad hoc organizations who would like to increase or alter their profile or who need honest, informed guidance in solving a specific political or public perception issue.

Project Management

RDL & Associates assists clients in the development and implementation of programs or projects designed to create new opportunities for their customers or members. Our extensive background in the private and public sectors benefit our clients’ in the development and facilitation of strategic planning for organizations seeking to examine its structure, mission, or programs. We are also experienced in identifying issues and assisting in reputation risk management.

Coalition Building & Grassroots Mobilization

Lobbying alone cannot ensure that your message will be heard in Washington, D.C. or the State Capitol. A broad-based demonstration of public support through grassroots mobilization is a key component of a successful campaign. In the modern legislative environment, businesses and organizations need to adapt and be more effective in getting voters and local citizens to advocate issues to Congress and the Administration on their behalf.

RDL & Associates political insight and experience in coalition building and grassroots mobilization is unrivaled by any other firm. We specialize in the development of themes and messages capable of building active public awareness of your efforts. RDL & Associates can utilize our strategic alliances to build coalitions, mobilize stakeholders and engage like-minded individuals, and gain earned media. Our goal is to identify targets and to communicate with them directly and effectively to ensure our clients’ success.

Communications Assessment & Message Delivery

RDL & Associates, LLC assists leaders and organizations with little to no digital media experience get into the habit of effectively utilizing these platforms – as well as facilitating an understanding as to why these communications channels are critical in today’s environment.

RDL & Associates and our strategic partners have a background in research, message and content development, digital media, crisis communications, media relations and brand reputation management. We assemble our team for a thorough review and assessment of your organization’s current communications strategy, including utilization of digital media platforms in conveying your messaging to target audiences.

Development and Coordination of Digital Media Platforms

Organizations have an interest in focusing their online activity and enhancing their profile via digital media platforms. A common misperception of digital media is that it is optional. Given the fact that these channels are literally “on” every second, taking an episodic or occasional approach will not work. Their best use will require resources to implement, manage, and monitor them based on the individual platform’s strengths and weaknesses.

Digital media does not displace a good communications strategy but must be managed in concert with other activities and traditional tools.

RDL & Associates has a background in online outreach, message development and delivery, strategic consulting and grassroots advocacy. We systemically review an organization’s overall messaging and communications strategies and generate ideas to enhance and accentuate the message and its delivery.

RDL & Associates provides general consulting services to organizations and businesses, including (but not limited to):

  • An audit of an organization’s current communications strategy, including utilization of digital media platforms in delivering messaging to target audiences.
  • Development and implementation of a strategic plan to enhance an organization’s visibility via digital media platforms.
  • Utilization and development of digital media platforms (e.g. Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook) to increase an organization’s visibility to internal and external audiences.
  • Development of a strategy to highlight events and seminars.
  • Integration of an organization’s website into digital media platforms utilized by RDL & Associates and our strategic partners.
  • Coordination regarding utilization of social media platforms

Private Coaching

In addition to the broad range of consulting and strategic services offered by RDL & Associates, private coaching is available to individuals or organizations who seek intensive training in the art of lobbying, and the utilization of digital media platforms. Participants will benefit from Dave Ladd’s 20+ years in and around the policy and political process and will gain insight into strategies and tactics for effectively delivering their message.

Contact Information

Dave Ladd, President
RDL & Associates, LLC
(651) 247-5458
Daveladd66@gmail.com

Copyright © 2016 RDL & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

Renewable energy under attack, but advancing steadily (via Agri-Pulse Communications)

“In Iowa, a state that just became the first in the nation to generate over 30 percent of its power from wind energy, we’ve seen the economic success story behind renewables up close and personal. There are more than 6,000 good wind jobs in Iowa, and the clean energy opportunity is available to every state in the country.”

This praise for renewable energy and the jobs it creates came from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, at last week’s National Renewable Energy Policy Forum hosted by the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE).

Also at the ACORE forum was Marsden Hanna, Google’s principal for energy, who said the company is seeking to power 100 percent of its operations from renewable energy “through long-term fixed-price contracts that help us smooth our financial planning, while insulating ourselves from fuel price volatility.”

Demand for renewable energy including wind, solar, and biofuels could climb even faster than Grassley and Hanna expect if the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan overcomes the legal challenges that have blocked EPA from implementing the plan until there is a final court ruling.

The renewables industry is confident that it’s well enough established to keep growing dramatically even if the courts or a new administration were to reject federal climate initiatives, including the Clean Power Plan, to limit power plant carbon emissions.

One sign of renewable energy’s strength is that while reduced demand for coal and a worldwide glut in crude oil have reduced investment in fossil fuel projects, renewable energy continues to attract new financing, cut costs, and create jobs.

Despite these developments, renewables remain under attack by the fossil fuel industry which charges that renewable energy could drive energy prices higher, threaten reliability, and “devastate” the U.S. economy. These charges have been highlighted in GOP presidential candidates’ speeches, in congressional hearings continuing this week, and in the American Petroleum Institute’s “Vote4Energy” print and TV ads. The ads picture ordinary consumers saying that “Producing and refining more domestic oil and natural gas will mean more abundant energy – and that means more affordable energy for American families.”

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen isn’t impressed. He sees the oil industry’s ads and the other attacks on renewables as a sign of desperation. In an Agri-Pulse interview, Dinneen said that despite the oil industry’s advertising and lobbying campaigns, “we’ve got something they don’t have, and that is the public support for energy security, for rural economic development, for addressing climate change.”

Dinneen points out that the renewable fuels industry has been hurt along with the petroleum industry by the plunge in oil prices, now around $40 a barrel compared to 2014’s peak of over $100. But he says the two industries have responded very differently. “When oil prices collapsed throughout last year, the oil industry retrenched,” he says. “They cut 80,000 jobs, they slashed rig counts. And they have moved out of rural communities in North Dakota and Texas where fracking operations had provided a very temporary boom. Those communities now are suffering from the oil bust.”

In contrast, “Given the very same economics with low energy prices, the ethanol industry increased jobs by 2,000, we invested in new technologies that would make us more efficient and provide value-added markets,” Dinneen says. “We invested in infrastructure so that we could expand higher-level blends. So our industry, when faced with a tough situation, continues to invest in the communities that we care about. The oil industry picks up and runs.”

Whether oil prices stay depressed or recover, Dinneen expects renewable fuels to continue gaining both market share and public support because “we have continued to provide consumers with savings at the pump” – savings which he expects to increase as the RFA continues its efforts to increase biofuels use by increasing the availability of higher-level blends, boosting exports, and pressing EPA to raise its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume requirements.

Scott Sklar, president of The Stella Group, which promotes renewable energy, and an adjunct professor at George Washington University, tells Agri-Pulse that renewables are under attack “because they’re doing so well.” He notes that the U.S. solar industry now “employs more people than the coal industry” and that solar and wind now add more electric generation capacity in the U.S. every year than natural gas.

After Congress extended renewable energy tax credits for another five years in December, Sklar says “That’s really all we need from the federal government.” He says the focus now is on support at the state level where “over 30 states have renewable energy portfolio standards requiring a mix of renewable energy, with solar and wind as the lead choices.”

Sklar says almost 209,000 people now work in solar jobs in the U.S., more than twice the number for coal, adding that he doesn’t see the states giving up those jobs. “The reason the tax credits were extended was the vast number of jobs being created by these (renewable energy) industries,” he says.

While the renewable industry suffered a setback recently in Nevada – which reversed itself on net metering, reducing payments to solar panel owners for their excess electricity – Sklar sees a silver lining. He predicts the result there will be what he’s done with his own buildings in Virginia: batteries will be installed, empowering homeowners and businesses to use more of their own power. Sklar says renewables’ opponents like the Koch brothers may slow but can’t stop growth in this industry.

“This is an innovation as powerful and as disruptive as cellular telephones on the traditional telephone grid,” he says. “Just like communication closer to the customer, this is electric power closer to the customer.”

Republican governors rather than major utility companies are leading efforts to overturn the Clean Power Plan, Sklar says, “because most utilities think they can meet the plan.” He adds that with widespread support for state renewable energy requirements, states were supporting renewable energy “even before the Clean Power Plan.” Despite renewable energy’s well-funded opponents, Sklar expects renewables to continue gaining ground.

National Biodiesel Board (NBB) CEO Joe Jobe tells Agri-Pulse that after doubling biodiesel production from 1 billion gallons in 2012 to a forecast 2 billion in 2017, biodiesel producers are on track to more than double U.S. production again by 2022. He says biodiesel’s rapid growth since 2012 happened despite EPA’s falling three years behind in setting RFS volume requirements. “Even with all that policy uncertainty,” he says, “the biodiesel industry continued to produce record volumes year after year.”

Jobe takes the continuing attacks on renewable energy and the RFS very seriously. He knows how hard it has been to create new fuels “when the incumbent fuel that you’re displacing is the largest, richest, most mature industry in the world” which has “made it a top priority to kill the RFS.” But his good news is that “it has been their top priority for many years and they have not gotten it done.”

NBB’s own priorities are increasing EPA’s RFS volume requirements, extending the biodiesel tax credit, turning it into a producer’s tax credit so the benefits go only to domestic production not imports, and delivering the message that “biodiesel offers perhaps the most immediate and effective tool for the nation to meet its carbon reduction goals.”

RDL & Associates Strategic Communications Services

RDL & Associates, LLC assists leaders and organizations with little to no digital media experience get into the habit of effectively utilizing these platforms – as well as facilitating an understanding as to why these communications channels are critical in today’s environment.

RDL & Associates and our strategic partners have a background in research, message and content development, digital media, crisis communications, media relations and brand reputation management. We assemble our team for a thorough review and assessment of your organization’s current communications strategy, including utilization of digital media platforms in conveying your messaging to target audiences.

Development and Coordination of Digital Media Platforms

Organizations have an interest in focusing their online activity and enhancing their profile via digital media platforms. A common misperception of digital media is that it is optional. Given the fact that these channels are literally “on” every second, taking an episodic or occasional approach will not work. Their best use will require resources to implement, manage, and monitor them based on the individual platform’s strengths and weaknesses.

Digital media does not displace a good communications strategy but must be managed in concert with other activities and traditional tools.

RDL & Associates has a background in online outreach, message development and delivery, strategic consulting and grassroots advocacy. We systemically review an organization’s overall messaging and communications strategies and generate ideas to enhance and accentuate the message and its delivery.

RDL & Associates provides general consulting services to organizations and businesses, including (but not limited to):

  • An audit of an organization’s current communications strategy, including utilization of digital media platforms in delivering messaging to target audiences.
  • Development and implementation of a strategic plan to enhance an organization’s visibility via digital media platforms.
  • Utilization and development of digital media platforms (e.g. Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook) to increase an organization’s visibility to internal and external audiences.
  • Development of a strategy to highlight events and seminars.
  • Integration of an organization’s website into digital media platforms utilized by RDL & Associates and our strategic partners.
  • Coordination regarding utilization of social media platforms.

The RDL & Associates Strategic Communications Services document can be accessed here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/i5fhkxekrexn7sz/RDL%20Strategic%20Communications%20Services.pdf?dl=0

Contact Information

Dave Ladd, President
RDL & Associates, LLC
(651) 247-5458

Copyright © 2016 RDL & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.

After a decade of rapid growth, corn use for ethanol is projected to decline (via USDA Economic Research Service)

Ethanol production in the United States is based almost entirely on corn as a feedstock.  Corn‑based ethanol production is projected to fall over the next 10 years. This reflects declining overall gasoline consumption in the United States (which is mostly a 10‑percent ethanol blend, E10), infrastructural and other constraints on growth for E15 (15‑percent ethanol blend), and the small size of the market for E85 (85‑percent ethanol blend), with less-than-offsetting increases in U.S. ethanol exports. Even with the U.S. ethanol production decline, demand for corn to produce ethanol continues to be strong. While the share of U.S. corn expected to go to U.S. ethanol production falls, it accounts for over a third of total U.S. corn use throughout the projection period. This chart is based on information in USDA Agricultural Projections to 2025.

Diverse coalition urges Congress not to cut farm bill programs (via Agri-Pulse Communications)

A broad coalition of agriculture interests, conservation groups and nutrition advocates is appealing to Congress not to make any cuts in farm bill spending this year.

A letter signed by 254 national and local organizations says lawmakers shouldn’t touch any of the titles in the 2014 farm bill. That would include crop insurance as well as conservation and nutrition programs, popular targets of budget cutters.

Some House conservatives are demanding that Republican leaders impose new cuts in domestic spending below the levels set by the two-year budget agreement that Congress approved in November, and President Obama’s fiscal 2017 budget proposed $18 billion in cuts to crop insurance over 10 years.

However, Senate Budget Chairman Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., announced on Monday that he was postponing work on a new budget resolution and said that appropriators could move ahead with writing the fiscal 2017 based on the spending caps set in last fall’s deal.

The coalition letter was sent to the Senate and House Budget committees as well as the Appropriations panels in both chambers. The Budget panels develop broad long-range spending and revenue blueprints for the federal government, while the Appropriations committees write the annual spending bills for each department and agency.

The letter said that the 2014 farm bill already “made a significant contribution to deficit reduction.

“This bipartisan legislation was estimated to contribute $16 billion to deficit reduction over 10 years. These difficult cuts resulted from hard choices made to reform and reduce the farm safety net, conservation programs and nutrition assistance programs. Some of the reforms made in the new farm bill are still being implemented.”

The organizations that signed the letter include the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Association of Crop Insurers, American Bankers Association, American Heart Association, Audubon, Bread for the World, Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau, National Association of Clean Water Agencies, National Association of Counties, National Farmers Union, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, National Wildlife Federation and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

The Senate Agriculture Committee’s Ranking Member, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, applauded the effort.

“The Farm Bill coalition – made up of more than 250 farm, food, conservation, and nutrition groups – are again standing strong against potential cuts from Congress,” noted the Michigan Democrat in a statement. “It’s important that we keep the Farm Bill intact through the budget and appropriations process to provide the full five-year certainty promised in that bipartisan bill.”

A similar letter last year had 392 groups, according to the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, which said it collaborated on the letter along with the Farm Bureau, Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau and National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. According to TRCP, sportsmen’s groups were more involved in this year’s letter.

Counterpoint: Decisions about our food system must be made based on science, not innuendo

The Minneapolis StarTribune recently published a piece by Mr. Jim Riddle calling into question the vote of United States Senator Amy Klobuchar to advance much needed GMO labeling legislation (“Counterpoint: Shame on you, Amy, for betraying us on GMO labels”, March 3).

The proposed legislation enjoys broad and deep support. Prior to the hearing, every member of the Senate Agriculture Committee received a letter of support signed by at least 652 organizations representing the entire food chain, including a large number of consumers, agricultural interests and food companies from Minnesota.

Furthermore, Senator Klobuchar was not the only Democrat to support the bipartisan legislation in hopes of reaching a compromise that will protect consumers from escalating costs and American agriculture from a disjointed patchwork of state-by-state and local laws. At least six Democrats are now on record having either voted for the bill in committee or saying they will support a compromise version on the Senate floor.

I am also befuddled by the points raised by Mr. Riddle in regards to pesticides when the issue at hand is GMO labeling. One does not equal the other and, in this particular case, there is a large disconnect between GMOs and the labeling of products and the role played by pesticides in both conventional and organic agriculture.

The reality is, GMOs have been tested extensively – in over 2,000 studies. These studies, and the leading regulatory and food safety organizations in the world – including the American Medical Association, the National Academy of Sciences and the World Health, have found GMOs to be perfectly safe.

Foods produced utilizing advanced agricultural technologies have “officially” been in the food supply for approximately 20 years. In reality, we are late-comers when it comes to using technology. Nature has been naturally using genetic modification on its own for millions of years.

Biotechnology also helps reduce the environmental impact of agricultural practices, can increase nutrient absorption by livestock and can create crops that are tolerant of poor environmental conditions (e.g. drought).

One of the deceptive arguments posited by GMO opponents is that consumers have a right to know what they feed their families. This claim, however, simply doesn’t pass the “smell test”. The issue of GMO labeling is not necessarily one of consumer choice. Consumers already have a choice to purchase non-GMO products, if that is their preference, and misguided labeling initiatives could unnecessarily scare consumers away from safe foods that offer nutritional benefits.

It is critically important that decisions about our food system are made based on science, not innuendo. The vote by Senator Klobuchar and her colleagues in support of advancing a common-sense solution to GMO labeling will benefit both Minnesota farmers and consumers.

Dave Ladd is President of RDL & Associates and a frequent guest commentator regarding the agriculture sector public policy environment.

Issue Update: Senate Agriculture Committee Action on GMO Labeling Legislation.

The Senate Agriculture Committee recently held a mark-up to consider legislative language related to GMO labeling.  The Committee approved the proposed language by a vote of 14 – 6, with three Democratic votes.

At least six Democrats are now on record either voting for the bill in committee or saying they will support a compromise version on the Senate floor

Prior to the mark up, members of the Senate Agriculture Committee received a letter supporting the Chairman’s Mark signed by at least 652 organizations representing the entire food chain, including a number of stakeholders from Minnesota.

The legislation now moves to the Senate floor, where supporters hope to have a vote before Easter break.  Instead of moving as a stand-alone bill, it is likely the proposed language will attached to another piece of legislation.

An audio update regarding the issue can be accessed here: https://soundcloud.com/rdl-associates/linder-farm-network-gmo-labeling-senate-ag-committee-mark-up