The Ag Salon

Have you ever heard about Salons? The ones that were filled with exclusive members of a particular society, whether it be socialites, political activists, generally a group of people connected by something? Wikipedia describes it as “a meeting for learning or enjoyment”. I often think of the 18th century Parisian Salons during the Enlightenment. I attended my first one this week! – In the year 2018 in Washington, DC, not 18th century France. I probably didn’t need to clarify, but I’ve recently been hooked on Outlander, so my mind thought a time-travel joke would be funny. I digress…

A bit of a last-minute invite, it turned into my favorite night of this externship by far!

I met people in the Foreign Ag Service, Chicago Council on Global Affairs Government Relations, International Business Entrepreneurs, Agriculture Technology Investors, Program Manager for the General Mills Foundation, a Veterinary Consultant, and Policy Analyst to name a few. Of Note: Only one veterinarian was present.

In one little restaurant (food was amazing and the wine was on point) was a mixture of public and private sectors all working toward the end goal of sustainable development.

You’ll never know where the conversation can take you. At one point I debated Aristotle’s Ethics with an international business entrepreneur. At another, I discussed with a Foreign Service Officer the organization of programmes to produce maximum output of an agricultural-based economy. A Program Director of FFAR overheard the latter conversation and contributed her thoughts and shortly after person from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs joined us.

I am so grateful to Dr. Carrie La Jeunesse for inviting me to this invite. The Ag Salon brought together such a diverse group of people, and through being a part of those conversations, I was able to witness a resulting collaborative environment on an array of different subjects.