September-October 2022

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10 PalletCentral • September-October 2022 POLICY PLAY AT T appahannock, Virginia, a town of less than 2,000, sits on the banks of the Rappahannock River – the city's lifeblood and home to a large private forest and timber manufacturing industry. What was predicted to be a day of rain at the facilities of O'Malley Timber Products and Pallet Machinery Group was clear skies and sun, welcomed and auspicious for Congressman Rob Wittman's Farm & Agribusiness Tour in the First District. is tour allowed him to speak directly with farmers and agribusiness leaders. e information gained during the event will help dictate the Congressman's agriculture and natural resources policy agenda, particularly with the Farm Bill currently in negotiations and the Congressman's senior position on the House Natural Resources Committee. As the first stop, 120-acre O'Malley Timber Products' President Matt O'Malley and the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association's Public Affairs team received the Congressman and his staff, as well as representatives of the Virginia Farm Bureau and Colonial Credit Union. P.T. O'Malley Lumber Company, Inc., the central location in Baltimore, MD, has been family owned and run since 1952. e vertically integrated custom pallet manufacturer utilizes all raw materials and byproducts. "We wanted the opportunity to show the Congressman the sustainability side of our business and how pallets and wood pellets fit into manufacturing in Virginia," said O'Malley. He took Congressman Wittman on an hour-long tour of the facility, which boasts a lumber yard, pallet manufacturing facility, sawmill, and pellet-making facility. Out of the three manufacturing facilities owned and operated by the O'Malley family, the Virginia facility is the only site with a sawmill, purchasing timber from a roughly 35-mile radius of private Virginia forests. On tour, Wittman could see the advancements in machinery and automation and he could hear the loud buzz of the sawmill as it cut down logs into near-perfect planks. He smelled the fresh timber. He saw the ebb and flow of machines and employees creating and stacking custom-made pallets that would be shipped across the country. He felt the smooth texture of the wooden pellets created using untreated residue from the sawmill, ensuring a 100% lean manufacturing facility. Wittman seemed genuinely interested in the facility, stooping down to look at the pallets being built on the belt and watching the automated machine stacking the sacks of pellets onto a pallet. Next door to the pallet manufacturing building sits Pallet Machinery Group (PMG), headed by longtime NWPCA member Greg Wine. PMG builds and fixes equipment for pallet manufacturing. "What was most interesting about this tour was technology's role in increasing production and how every wood fiber is used in this facility," said Wittman. Like most small businesses in rural communities, both companies face similar burdens, including labor and supply chain issues. is tour provided valuable one-on-one time with Congressman Wittman to explain how these issues negatively impact the First District that he represents. From NWPCA's state economic impact analysis, pallet manufacturers in Virginia contributed over $267.9 million in upstream and downstream economic impact and supported over 1,530 jobs. It is critical to consistently remind lawmakers of the positive and significant impact that the pallet industry has on the economy of their communities, especially those in rural locations. Still, nothing can replace taking a Congressmember through a plant so they can see it firsthand. Congressman Wittman has long been a friend and advocate of the wood products industry. He has discussed pallets' crucial role in the supply chain with his colleagues Advocacy in Action A Visit with Congressman Rob Wittman. By Hallie Fuchs How to Host a Congressional Tour • Identify your representative. Do you already have a standing relationship? • Contact NWPCA's Public Affairs team. We're always looking for volunteers! • NWPCA will set up a time & date for your Congressperson to visit. Book out a one-to-two-hour visit. • Inform your staff, employees, and anyone else who might be participating the day of. Your VIP is excited to see, smell, and hear your facility. • Gather supplies like water bottles, safety glasses, vests, and hearing protection. Safety first and always! • NWPCA will send you a briefing on talking points. Some conversation starters for you and your representative. • Have fun! This is your facility; you want to share how special it is.

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