We started our day today at the Pentagon. We were given a walking briefing/tour by an intelligence officer from the Department of Defense. It was very exciting to walk down the hallway passed the Secretary of Defense’s office. We also went to the site of the attack on the Pentagon from 9-11-01 and saw the memorial. What a very moving experience for all of us.
After lunch we were off to the Department of Transportation. Byrna Helfer, Director of Public Engagement welcomed us and explained the different areas and tasks of their department. Amy Scarton, Deputy Assistant Secretary discussed “Surface Transportation in America”. Tony Furst, Office of Freight Management/Operations, Federal Highway Administration talked about Freight in America. David Nicol and Myint Lwin, “Mr. Bridge” talked about the rural roads and bridges across the country. Lwin is from the Office of Bridge Technology, Federal Highway Administration. Our last presentation was from Lorna Wilson, Federal Transit Administration. Lorna explained the concepts that are key to “livability in rural America.”
We had the great privilege of hearing from Illinois Farm Bureau President Phil Nelson. He was in the building for a hearing on the controversial issue of farmers being forced to hold commercial driver’s licenses in Illinois. He gave an update on his meeting.
We had yet another exciting evening tonight. Gerry Salzman (IALP class of ’92) of Case IH (CNH) hosted a dinner featuring Senator and Mrs. Mike Johanns from Nebraska. He shared his thoughts on the complicated financial issues facing lawmakers, and Mr. Salzman challenged us to take advantage of our leadership opportunities through IALF. It was a great evening of sharing and learning.
Thanks to all the speakers and our trip sponsor, Monsanto, for another great day in Washington, D.C.