Hanover College alumni Liz Otte Brownlee will return to campus Monday, Sept. 30, to discuss her recent experience testifying before a congressional subcommittee. She will speak at 4 p.m. in Science Center, room 137.

A 2009 Hanover graduate, Brownlee is the executive director of the Oak Heritage Conservancy, a non-profit land trust that conserves natural areas in southeastern Indiana, and president of the Hoosier Young Farmers Coalition, a group of beginning farmers and allies who work to connect young farmers in Indiana.

Brownlee’s presentation, "A Sustainable Farmer Goes to Washington," provides an inside look at her June 5 testimony before the House Agriculture Committee’s subcommittee on biotechnology, horticulture and research. Her statements were in response to a proposed relocation of the USDA’s Economic Research Service and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture to the Midwest.

Acting as a representative of the National Young Farmers Coalition, Brownlee argued that farmers would gain nothing by being further apart from U.S. policymakers. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue had previously stated that moving the entities would put them closer to the farmers who use their research and programs.

Brownlee and her husband, Nate, a 2006 Hanover graduate, launched Nightfall Farm in 2014. The couple continues to work on food system issues, including how to connect people with their food, build farmers markets and keep more money in rural communities, and the creation of a hometown food guide to connect consumers and farmers.

The presentation is open to the public, free of charge.