Senator Todd Young of Indiana, Representative Trey Hollingsworth of Indiana and Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas were honored with the American Bakers Association’s 2021 Bakers’ Dozen Award at a Dec. 7 virtual reception. The three individuals were recognized for their work in moving the baking industry forward.

“This year’s awardees went above and beyond to champion key priority issues for the baking industry in 2021,” said Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the ABA. “The awardees have demonstrated leadership and special devotion in assisting the baking industry in ensuring the delivery of baked goods throughout the country.”

Bradley K. Alexander, chair of the ABA and chief operating officer of Thomasville, Ga.-based Flowers Foods, Inc., added, “With all of the shifts in the political spectrum in 2021, it has been more important than ever for our industry to advocate our diverse, complex issues. The honorees we are recognizing have provided much needed assistance and have worked hard to serve our sector’s nearly 800,000 workers as we continued to grapple with a multitude of challenges.”

Young and Hollingsworth were recognized for introducing the DRIVE Safe Act in the US Senate and US House of Representatives. This bipartisan legislation is critical to helping to solve the baking industry’s truck driver shortage by allowing individuals under the age of 21 through an extensive training program to obtain a commercial driver’s license to safely enter the industry, the ABA said.

Cuellar, a two-time recipient of the Bakers’ Dozen award, again demonstrated his willingness to reach across the aisle to achieve policies that support the baking industry and its mission to feed American families, the ABA said, adding that he continues to stand up against legislation he believes would cripple the industry and support workforce initiatives such as the DRIVE Safe Act.

“As we look to 2022, we are confident our honorees will continue their tireless work on issues important to the baking industry,” said Lee Sanders, senior vice president of government relations and public affairs at the ABA. “ABA is privileged to carry our members’ powerful stories to our champions and policymakers on the Hill to help illustrate how laws and regulations impact the companies feeding Americans.”