Another busy day in D.C…

We started out in the rush hour hustle on the metro. Everyone made it there safely, although we did get split up and a few got on the wrong train. The group had a chance to briefly meet with senator Klobuchar and take a picture. She had to run to a committee hearing but had a moment to share a few thoughts with us. One main issue for her now is opening up trade with Cuba. (Fun Fact: Amy Klobochar was the first women elected to the U.S. Senate from MN, pretty impressive!)

 We then headed over the meet with Senator Al Franken, and legislative aids at the newly constructed U.S. Capital Visitor’s Center. Senator Franken spent about 15 minutes addressing our group and answering questions. I really enjoyed the personal interaction; we talked about the Keystone Pipeline, International Trade, The Renewable Fuel Standard, and Wolves. One comment related to me personally, he said “I did not grow up on a farm, but I have spent a lot of time working with and learning from farmers. I have learned a lot about these issues that allows me to work on behalf of Minnesota Agriculture.” (Something like this.) In many ways this is also my story.

The reoccurring theme is that the parties are not working together and it is frustrating trying to get anything done – too bad because there are a lot of smart people in Washington with a real potential to make an impact. Our tour of the U.S. Capital was good – I personally liked standing in the original Supreme Court chamber. Also, there was beautiful original artwork all around.

The final official visit today was at Minnesota Farmers Union. Nice presentation/discussion, but the group was pretty tired. After five days in D.C. we are all wearing down a bit – we have been on the move and learning so much. I feel like I am swimming in all this information. I will definitely need to process when I get home.

Dinner on the waterfront – good food, good drinks, great company. My parting thought is do not trust D.C. taxi drivers with your life, wear a seat belt.

-Margaret Wagner


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