b'Washington DC Fly-In Sets Stage For 2019by John Keeling, NPC Executive Vice President and CEOIn late February, the potato industry heardfrompoliticalobserversandgathered in the Nations Capital for television personalities AB Stoddardthe annual Washington DC Fly-In. andNathanGonzalezabouttheInthekeynoteaddressforthe 2018 election and how 2020 is shap-event,industryleadershadthe ingup.Thentheydepartedforopportunity to hear from Secretary Capitol Hill to a business session inof Agriculture Sonny Perdue on the the Dirksen Senate Office Building.work the Department of Agriculture Overthecourseoftwohours,is conducting to move our industry SenatorsCoryGardner(R-forward. Colorado),JimRisch(R-Idaho),John Hoeven (R-North Dakota) andNPCAmongthetopicstheSecretary SusanCollins(R-Maine)addressedmentionedweretrade,potato theattendeesabouttherecentlyresearch, the agricultural labor crisis passed 2018 Farm Bill, trade issues,and on-going efforts to restore sci- immigration reform and transporta-Messageence-based criteria in the nutrition tion challenges facing our industry.programs.SecretaryPerduealsohighlightedthevalueandimpor- Once the formal program was com-tanceofthePotatoIndustry pleted,producersfromacrosstheLeadershipInstitute(PILI).The U.S. took to their individual Housemost recent PILI class was complet- and Senate member offices to holdingtheirworkinDCafterbegin- one-on-oneconversationsaboutningtheprograminPortland, key priorities to advance the indus-Oregon and were in attendance for try.These meetings were joined bythe Secretarys speech. PILIparticipants,astheyhadjustcompleted training in communica-Beyondtheremarksfromthe tion and advocacy during the week.Secretary,Fly-Inattendeesalso TheseindividualHillmeetingsare8 POTATO GROWER APRIL 2019'