Western Growers annual Washington, D.C., fly-in is underway with members of the board of directors convening to address issues critical to the agriculture industry with federal lawmakers and administration officials. Immigration, water, trade, food safety and environmental concerns top the list of issues being discussed both on and off Capitol Hill.
Board members started the day Tuesday by hearing from Krysta Harden, deputy secretary of agriculture at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Secretary Harden’s conversation with members was followed by a panel discussion on the prospects for Endangered Species Act reform featuring David Bernhardt, co-chair of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP’s Natural Resources Department, and Christy Plumer, director of federal land programs at The Nature Conservancy.
Additionally, there were meetings with several members of Congress and key staff, including Sens. Michael Bennet (R-CO), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS).
On Wednesday, board members are scheduled to have a full day of meetings with several House and Senate members. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) will address board members, as will several of his California colleagues on both sides of the aisle, among others. During the evening, former Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman and Japan’s Minister for Economic Affairs Kanji Yamanouchi will speak to board members.
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