Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011 "Presidents' Day"

You couldn't find a more appropriate city to spend Presidents' Day than in our nation's capitol, Washington, DC.

The group headed out of the hotel early, departing at 6:00 a.m. on way to the metro to catch the Amtrak train northeast bound for Wilmington, Delaware, home to the world headquarters of DuPont, parent company of Pioneer Hi-Bred. For most members, this was a memorable trip, having never ridden on an Amtrak train before.

After 90 minutes on the train, we were greeted in Wilmington by a DuPont bus, where it transported us to Pioneer.

Lisa Schwartz, Operations Specialist, welcomed the SDARL class to DuPont. Enno Krebbers, Intellectual Properties Research scientist explained the long and interesting history of Dupont, and subsequently, Pioneer. Gunpowder was their first endeavor, followed by dynamite in 1880. They are perhaps best known, for their discovery of nylon in 1934. Electronics work began in the 1970's. They are also in communications, among many other sectors.

Today the largest portion of their sales comes from agriculture.

The group made three stops in their soybean transformation area. To say they were impressed, is an understatement. The class watched in awe as a scientist demonstrated the use of a gene-insertion gun.  Perhaps the most amazing stop was when class members donned 3D glasses and looked at cell layers utilizing a electronic microscope, typically employed in the medical research field.  They also showed footage of soybean cyst nematodes at work.

Before heading back to DC, the group enjoyed a great Chinese lunch and wrapped up with sharing their observations about Washington, DC and what they had just seen.

Members enjoyed an evening on their own, in preparation for a very long Tuesday, looking forward to ten speakers addressing us while American Bankers Association plays host.

Until next time this is Joey Hanson, Class VI Member

Members at Pioneer Hi-Bred, Wilmington, Delaware

Riding the metro

On the Amtrak Train towards Wilmington, Delaware

Class in soybean  transformation area of Pioneer Hi-Bred

Rae Jean with Girl Scouts at Amtrak station

Class in Entomology Lab at Pioneer Hi-Bred
Members at Mass
Basilica at Catholic University
Class at Lincoln Memorial

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