The nation’s capital looked a lot like rural America this week as farmers, organizations, and companies representing and serving farmers took to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to celebrate National Ag Day.
“National Ag Day provides farmers with an opportunity to raise some of our key issues with policymakers and their staff in a fun and engaging way,” said Iowa farmer and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chris Edgington. “The event attracts everyone from people strolling the Mall to senators and leaders at USDA.”
Staff standing at the NCGA booth stayed busy talking with visitors. At one point, NCGA staff spoke with Robert Bonnie, USDA undersecretary for farm production and conservation, while curious tourists looked on and joggers breezed by. Congressional staff also walked over to the booth as U.S. senators spoke at various events and moved quickly to greet people at various places on the mall.
Farm equipment was placed strategically across the mall with people gathering around a John Deere combine with a backdrop of the Washington Monument, a tribute to a man who was no stranger to farm life.
“We meet with officials all the time here in Washington,” said Edgington. “But this event allows us to really share our story in a way that brings our issues to life with these folks.”
National Ag Day, sponsored by the Ag Council of America, has been held in the nation’s capital for 49 years.