Some health advocates have pushed for tightened rules for SNAP, the national food stamp program, to ensure that the money goes toward nutritional foods.
The beverage association brought on the lobby firm as a precaution in case the issue arises during the debate in Congress over the farm bill, a professional working in the effort told The Hill.
The registration adds Michael Torrey and Christy Seyfert, two agriculture gurus in Washington, to ABA’s lobby team.
Torrey served in the Agriculture Department under former President George W. Bush as deputy chief of staff and deputy assistant secretary of congressional relations. He also worked for the International Dairy Foods Association as vice president of government relations.
Seyfert’s resume boasts significant Capitol Hill ties in agriculture. She previously worked for the Senate Agriculture Committee as senior professional staff and the House Agriculture Committee as professional staff.
Michael Torrey Associates began working for ABA April 1, according to the forms that were released Thursday.
The Beverage Association already has lobbying contracts with Patton Boggs, Heather Podesta + Partners and the Bockorny Group. Only two of the firms disclosed lobbying on SNAP issues in the last quarter.
ABA spent $290,000 on lobbying during the first three months of 2012. It is unclear the how much Michael Torrey Associates will charge because firms do not file lobbying fees at the time of registration.
When contacted about the registration, Michael Torrey Associates referred The Hill to the ABA. The ABA offered The Hill a 2011 release as an explanation of the work.