I have had an eventful couple of weeks since my last post.
I spent a day two weeks ago in Riverdale, Maryland at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services building learning more about some of their programs. I particularly enjoyed meeting with two economists, as many of my college classes related to economics.
At a meeting in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, right next to the White House, I took part in an interagency discussion about increasing participation in youth sports across the country. I played soccer, basketball and baseball as much as I could when I was younger and believe it is important for children to have these opportunities. I probably never would have made it to the Major Leagues without them.
USDA has a program called HealthierUS Schools Challenge to recognize schools that excel in fostering healthy eating and physical activity among students. As a professional athlete, I am very concerned with nutrition and exercise in my own life, and I believe it is important to promote their importance to our nation’s youth.
Last week, I was honored to accompany First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary Vilsack to Hollin Meadows Elementary School, a recipient of a HealthierUS Schools Challenge Silver Star. We met teachers, students, parents and administrators in learning about the programs that have made the school such a success.
I have several interesting tours lined up over the next couple of weeks, while I also work on putting the finishing touches on my projects here at USDA. I hope all of the readers out there have a great Thanksgiving!
Ross Ohlendorf, a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, is spending part of his off-season at the United States Department of Agriculture. A graduate of Princeton University, he is spending eight weeks as an intern with USDA’s Marketing and Regulatory Programs.