We were up early again today. Off to the Federal Trade Commission
Building. One of the many perks to being in the IALP is that a “daily
exercise program” is incorporated into our schedule. We are using the
metro train, which is a very efficient system of transportation
through-out the city and surrounding area.
We started our day today at the FTC learning about the Ag competition
workshops from Mark Tobey, Special Counsel for State Relations and
Agriculture, Antitrust Division, USDOJ. Following that we heard from Neil
Averitt, Attorney, Federal Trade Commission and William Stallings,
Assistant Section Chief, Transportation, Energy and Agriculture Section,
Antitrust Division, USDOJ. This sector makes sure that we have choices in
We were then off to tour the White House. The architecture in this city is
very captivating. The tour of the White House was great and it has the
most fabulous view out the front windows. You see the Washington and
Jefferson Monuments and the fountain. What a site! TV star Kirk Cameron
was on the tour.
After lunch we walked under sunny skies to the EPA building. We heard from
Larry Elworth, Agriculture Counselor to the Administrator, Robin Dunkins,
Leader, Natural Resources & Commerce Group, Office of Air Quality Planning
& Standards (via phone conference from North Carolina) and Allison
Wiedeman, Chief Rural Branch, Water Permits Division. We discovered some
contradictions in their answers to our questions about EPA plans to
broaden the scope of their enforcement role in agriculture. We were also
reminded to share our ag knowledge with the applicable governmental
Our next stop for the day was the Chinese Embassy. What a fabulous,
gorgeous building and facility. They were very gracious hosts. We toured
the facility and then were briefed by two embassy attaches. They explained
their role in trade with the United States and the differences in their
farming compared to the United States. Farmers in China do not have the
luxury of farming numerous acres of land. They are allotted a small piece
of acreage on which to produce a crop. We also learned that their grain
production has consistently increased over the last 5 years.
Our last stop for the day was the New Zealand Embassy. They were very
welcoming. After dinner, we heard a few words from the New Zealand
Ambassador to the United States, Rt Hon Mike Moore, and members of his
staff sat with us and shared their knowledge during the meal.
Thank you to Monsanto and all the presenters and Embassy’s for making our
educational experience excellent again today.