PILD 2009 Report by Jo Musich

Public Issues and Leadership Development Conference
Connectivity: Community to the Capitol
April 27-29, 2009, Arlington, Virginia
Sponsored by the Joint Council of Extension Professionals
Report by Jo Musich, University of Minnesota Extension
The conference provided a close up look at the issues that impact Extension and the communities we serve. It also provided Extension professionals and volunteers the unique opportunity to interact with decision-makers in Congress and those who support our work.
PILD provided great professional development and opportunity to interact with decision makers and staff of elected officials. The 2009 conference focused on CHANGE – in Washington, in the executive and legislative branches of government, and in the creation of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). A highlight of PILD was attending both a session and round table discussion where Janie Simms Hipp, a national program leader CSREES Liason and an agricultural attorney, discussed risk management in the broader context, specifically focusing on how businesses, families and communities address financial, production, marketing, legal and human resource risks and what changes must occur at all levels to respond to rapidly evolving risk environments. Families in cities, on farms, ranches and woodland owners face risk and must learn ways to respond to tough economic times.
We received a welcome to Washington, D.C. from Jeanne Markell, and visited National Association of Counties (NACo) offices. Enjoying the monuments, museums and eating venues with the diverse people who visit and live in the Washington, D.C. area was most enjoyable and memorable.


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