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Highlights from the Washington Conference – Day 2

This week, from September 26 until September 28, the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) hosts The Washington Conference (TWC). This annual event addresses the most pressing public policy matters. Below is a recap of the second day.

Industry members Marched on the Hill, advocating for the industry by attending meetings with members of Congress, key Administration staff, and embassy briefings.  

IFPA members visit the Hill.

General session breakfast
Before attendees headed to the Hill, Senator John Boozman (R-AR), Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, spoke at the opening General Session Breakfast. Senator Boozman discussed the outlook of agriculture and business. As the highest-ranking Republican directly working on industry issues in Congress, this was an important opportunity for attendees to hear his insights.

  • Laura Himes, Chair-Elect of IFPA’s Board of Directors, and Senior Director Merchandising Produce at Walmart, welcomed Senator Boozman (R-AR) to the event, reflecting on his service in the House of Representatives on behalf of her home state, Arkansas. Himes also used this moment to recognize two other Arkansans in attendance, Maegan Brown, Foodservice Coordinator from the Conway Public Schools, and Ally Mrachek, Director of the School Food Systems Program at the University of Arkansas-Medical Sciences. 
    “Long a champion for ensuring that farmers, communities, and consumers have access to the resources they need, Senator Boozman’s voice on the Senate Agriculture Committee helps ensure our shared success for years to come.” – Laura Himes, Chair-Elect of IFPA’s Board of Directors and Senior Director Merchandising, Produce at Walmart.
  • After the education breakout sessions that followed the morning Keynote,  IFPA launched the Joy of Fresh on Capitol Hill. IFPA took over the Eastern Market to bring the event, formerly known as the Fresh Festival on Capitol Hill to help connect congressional and administrative staff, allied partners, consumer advocates, and IFPA Washington Conference attendees while experiencing the Joy of Fresh. As a part of this event, Hill Staff and Federal Agency Personnel were invited to the Joy of Fresh Market to Pick their own Fresh Produce and Floral. After that, the Harvest Fresh Market opened for the public to explore produce and floral through unique activities and treats to take home. At the end of the event, industry stakeholders, Capitol Hill, and Administrative staff were invited to the Happy Hour Reception in the North Hall at the market.

Senator Boozman spoke at the General Session Breakfast.

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