October 1, 2012

Let’s go to the Pentagon

By Kristin Pufpaff

Hey all,

It has been a while since I’m posted on here, I’m glad to say that it is because I have been out of the office and enjoying some of the great opportunities that D.C. offers. Including a stop by the Museum of the American Indian after a meeting last Monday where they have a great exhibit about the role of horses in the western Indian culture.

One Wednesday Dana and I headed out the Pentagon to meet with Brigadier General John Poppe and Captain Amos Peterson. Both are members of the US Army Veterinary Corp and it was great to talk to them about the roles they have played as veterinarians in the Army and the advanced educational opportunities that are open to Army veterinarians. The expanding role of Veterinarians in the Army is attested to by the fact that while the Army as a whole is reducing the number of standing troops the Veterinary Corp is still expanding. Army Veterinarians are responsible for a variety of tasks such as the medical care of working dogs, care of the pets of military personal and families, food safety for deployed troops, and food security outreach programs in foreign countries. To top off the day, Captain Peterson took us on a tour of the Pentagon. I have to say if you every find yourself stuck in the Pentagon you will have no shortage of places to eat, but more importantly there is a wealth of history lining to corridors of the Pentagon that would make it worth anyone’s time for a stroll through our nation’s military past. Thanks again to Brigadier General Poppe and Captain Peterson for talking to us and showing us around.



Thursday and Friday I went to the USDA Economic Research Service 2012 Conference: Emerging Issues in Global Animal Product Trade. I spent my time learning more about Free Trade Agreements and the economics of international agricultural trade than I thought I would ever know. Although most of what I learned is that I had no clue how complicated it all is and there are a very large number of formulas involved. I think the most important thing I learned is that no one person can know everything that needs to be known in order to make international trade choices that are good for our country as a whole so it is vitally important that people with diverse educational backgrounds come together to share knowledge and ideas. It was great to be in a place where that sharing ideas and working together was happening.