On Wednesday night, Claire had dinner at the St. Regis Hotel with Michelle Greenhalgh and Helena Bottemiller, contributing authors for Food Safety News; and Suzanne Schreck, Food Safety News Web Producer and contributing author. This was the first chance for Claire to meet her colleagues at Food Safety News in person. She was delighted that Bill Marler, of Marler Clark joined the group, and she was able to thank him in person for the Marler Clark Graduate Assistantship award. Others in attendance at this high-powered dinner included Colin Caywood, an associate with the Marler Clark firm, and Eddie Kohan, creator of the Obama Foodorama blog.
On Thursday Lauren, Claire, and Allison visited the USDA where they met with LL.M. alumna Janie Simms-Hipp for almost an hour. Janie serves as Senior Advisor for Tribal Affairs to USDA Secretary Vilsack and also directs the USDA Office of Tribal Relations. Doug O'Brien, another alum and another of Secretary Vilsack's Senior Advisors stopped by to say hello and welcome them to the USDA. Another of our distinguished alumni, Brett Offutt was also able to join the group. Brett serves as Director of the Policy and Litigation Division of the Packers and Stockyards Program. Lauren returned to USDA on Friday to meet with another GIPSA alum, Cara McCarthy. Cara serves as a Legal Specialist with USDA GIPSA.
Thanks to all that made this trip so rewarding.