US transportation secretary visits Washington state

Michelle Hennings (first row, second from left), executive director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers, participated in a roundtable discussion with Pete Buttigieg (middle, holding crate of apples), U.S. secretary of transportation, last month in Wenatchee. Photo courtesy of Rep. Kim Schrier’s office.

Last month, Michelle Hennings, executive director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG), joined several other commodity representatives in a roundtable discussion in Wenatchee with U.S. secretary of transportation, Pete Buttigieg, during his swing through the Pacific Northwest. Also participating were Rep. Kim Schrier (D-Wash.) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.). 

The group discussed transportation, trade and the high cost of inputs, among other topics. Hennings was able to highlight the importance of the barge system on the Columbia-Snake River System to the region. She said the secretary took great interest in the topic of barging and understood the value and benefits it brings to the region and nationwide. 

“It was a very successful discussion, and I feel like the secretary understood our concerns and the benefits the barge system provides to farmers and to our efforts at reducing carbon,” Hennings said. “We appreciate the opportunity to sit down with federal officials to discuss our issues and concerns.”