Our day began with a fabulous breakfast at the Crown Plaza hotel. We boarded the bus and were reminded a few times by our daily coordinators, Ann Vermeersch and Dylan Wiens, not to forget our passports for the Embassy. We arrived safely at the Canadian Embassy, driven, of course, by our spectacular bus driver Nancy, where we were reminded once again – do not forget your passports!
Mike Hawkins welcomed us, we introduced ourselves and then we heard from our first speaker David Salmonsen. David is from the American Farm Bureau, an organization that works with congress and deals with trade relations. During the Q&A we found out the he is a past graduate of LEAD New York.
Our second speaker of the day was Gilles Gauthier, Head of the Economic and Trade Department at the Embassy. After a relatively quick rundown of his department he called on us for feedback to encourage discussion.
Next we heard from Mike Hawkins, Agriculture Councilor, and Brad Wood, First Secretary Agriculture and Fisheries, on the topic of Canada-US relations regarding agriculture.
After the tour we were served lunch. We enjoyed sandwiches paired with an arugula salad. Then back to the Theatre room for our final speaker, Dalton Henry. Dalton is the Director of Policy for the U.S. Wheat Associates. We had an excellent discussion to end our visit.
It was then off to the U.S. Capitol Building for a guided tour. We were provided with a nice overview of the Capitol Building, and admired numerous statues and paintings. It was unfortunate they were doing some repair work and scaffolding covered most of the walls in the dome.
We enjoyed a free evening to finish off our day. Our classmates scattered around the city to enjoy the sites.