In Washington, D.C., it's who knows you that counts. And what better way for agriculture to rub elbows with congressional leaders than the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants annual Crawfish Boil on the Hill, held in the Longworth Building Cafeteria in Washington, D.C.
Hundreds of congressional leaders, staffers, representatives from USDA and others attended this year's buffet-style gathering featuring Cajun favorites, boiled crawfish and crawfish etouffee. No one talked politics at the event. It was simply a place and time for everyone to relax and get to know one another better.
Earlier in the day, NAICC members fanned out on Capitol Hill, visiting House and Senate agriculture committee members and their staff, discussing potential legislation and how it may impact farming interests.
Everyone they visited received an invitation to stop by the Longworth Building that night, to put politics on the back burner for a while and move the crawfish to the front. It’s all about building relationships.
The NAICC's Dennis Hattermann, Valdosta, Ga., said the boil “is meant to be a relaxed event for our senators and representatives and their staff to meet in a casual atmosphere with good food. We meet with them during the afternoon and talk to them about issues important to the agricultural community.”
On the day of the event, the crawfish make a 6:30 a.m. flight to Dulles Airport accompanied by "de chef" Tim Ford, of Louisiana, who rents a van and drives them to Washington D.C.
Photos courtesy of Dennis Hattermann.