Columbia Basin Project Welcomed the Indiana Agricultural Leadership Program

Columbia Basin Project Welcomed the Indiana Agricultural Leadership Program

On Sunday and Monday, February 20 and 21, 2022, 28 students from Indiana Agricultural Leadership Program’s Class 19 visited the Columbia Basin Project. After flying into the state on Sunday, they made their way to Grand Coulee Dam to learn about Pacific Northwest hydropower and the starting point of the Columbia Basin Project. On Monday, they spent the morning with Columbia Basin Project (CBP) partner stakeholders: League Assistant Director Sara Higgins, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Odessa Project Manager Jennifer Hickenbottom, ECBID Assistant Manager Nate Andreini, QCBID Secretary Manager Roger Sonnichsen, and Melissa Downes from Washington Department of Ecology.

The opportunity, created thanks in part to AgForestry, Washington’s natural resources leadership program, was part of a multi-day tour of the Pacific Northwest for AgForestry’s mid-western counterpart. While in the Basin, the Indiana delegation explored the largest Reclamation project in the country helping students understand why and how the West irrigates, the value of irrigated agriculture, and the importance of partnerships in policy work.

The tour started at EL 47.5 OGWRP Pump Plant and ended at a Frenchman Hills viewpoint. In addition to CBP history and current issues, they also had an opportunity to learn about the role of ditch riders and the process of ordering water from a ditch rider, a practice that does not exist in Indiana.

In addition to tour presenters, thanks are extended to Washington AgForestry Class 40 and the Washington State Potato Commission who welcomed the group with locally grown snacks to fuel them as they traveled the state.

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