From Washington, DC; Monday, March 9, 2015
Written by Katie Lyons, Matt Kellogg, and Whit Dhamer
Today was our first big day in DC! We spent the morning at the USDA starting our time with Michael Alston (IALP ’08) from the RMA. He enlightened us with an overview of his position and allowed us to challenge him on the latest Farm Bill and crop insurance changes. Next we got to spend some time with another fellow Illinoisan, Kirk Hanlin, from NRCS. He shared some current opportunities and challenges that he currently faces in his role. We concluded our sessions at USDA with Phil Karsting of the Foreign Agriculture Service. Before we left the USDA we enjoyed a lovely lunch in the Executive Dining Room.
Our evening concluded with a trip to CropLife America. We had a small reception with folks from Crop Life and some fun sharing some perspectives on modern farming. Then Dale Moore from the American Farm Bureau spoke about some hot topics he is currently working with including the hot debate on GMOs. We wrapped up the day hearing from another fellow Illinoisan, Jay Vroom, on CropLife America and their work. Monday provided some great sessions and we are excited for more!