Hello! I am happy to share with our members some of my experiences at the Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference.
Let me start by saying that I have attended the conference in past years and have always found it to be a wonderful professional development experience. Perhaps being in the nation’s capital and seeing the sites is a large part of this, but the opportunity to interact with our national USDA-NIFA leaders and our national legislators is an opportunity not to be missed.
Our conference presentations included A Panel Discussion—Communicating on the Hill: Two Roles – Advocating and Educating, which was more of a role play of what to do and not to do when visiting legislators; Imagining America: Extension Reconsidered; Celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the 2nd Morrill Act which created the 1890 Land Grant institutions; The Social Media Marketing Map: A Tool To Empower The Digital Leaders of Extension and Learning Takes More Than a Google Search: Technology in Extension’s Future. One portion that I enjoyed was our section meeting with NEAFCS leaders and the NIFA leaders in the family and consumer science division. We were able to discuss the National Impact Statements (which many of you contributed) and the process used to sift and sort those into the fact sheets that are on the NEAFCS website. We also had a chance to hear from the NIFA division leaders in family and consumer sciences to learn about their current initiatives.
Our evening events were a wonderful time to explore D.C. We visited the monuments on a twilight tour and NEAFCS sponsored a section night out at the Kennedy Center for an audience participation play in their experimental theater. Dean Durgan hosted a very nice State’s Night Out dinner for the Minnesota delegation in Arlington.
Our day on the Hill was very productive, as we visited Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, as well as most of the Minnesota congressional delegation. 4-H youth visiting the capitol for Citizenship Focus joined us for the visits, sharing the amazing projects they had been involved with during the week. The day was capped off by some unexpected excitement, which you may of heard about in the news– a gyrocopter landed on the lawn of the Capitol! Well, I guess there is always news being made in D.C.!
I want to acknowledge our NEAFCS-MN affiliate, Dean Durgan and her staff for supporting our professional organization representatives in attending PILD.
Again, I’d encourage all members to become involved in our professional organization and certainly take advantage of this great professional development opportunity!