Five Kansas Agri-Women, Carolyn Kleiber, Hillsboro; Lois Schlickau, Haven; Abby Dechant, Alma; and Chris and Joanna Wilson, Manhattan, flew to Washington, DC, June 7-10 to attend American Agri-Women's agricultural issues symposium and fly-in.
During the week, the women participated in this 16th annual symposium at the US Department of Agriculture, "Energy: the Power to be Affordable and Reliable", where speakers discussed all forms of energy from electricity and oil to renewable fuels and nuclear energy and how they affect agriculture. The rest of the week the women met with officials in the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Interior, visited the Embassy of Ireland, and made appointments to visit with their Congressional Delegates, Congressman Jerry Moran, and Senators Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback. Congresswomen Lynn Jenkins spoke briefly prior to the legislative reception hosted by AAW.
A highlight of the trip was a tour of First Lady Michelle Obama's White House vegetable garden, where Assistant Chef and Food Initiative Coordinator Sam Kass told them about how the garden has demonstrated the value of growing your own food to children and adults alike. Most of the children who had been involved in the planting, harvesting and preparing of these vegetables, in the White House kitchen itself, had not had gardening experience before. It was a beautiful little garden similar to home gardens in Kansas.
American Agri-Women is the national coalition of farm, ranch and agribusiness women, with over 50 state and national affiliates.